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Montreal man who killed unborn child must spend 15 years in prison before parole eligibility

Sofiane Ghazi is seen in this undated police handout photo.
Sofiane Ghazi is seen in this undated police handout photo. Montreal police/The Canadian Press

Sofiane Ghazi, a Montrealer who pleaded guilty to stabbing his unborn baby to death, was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 15 years.

The sentence was imposed Wednesday morning by Judge Jean-François Buffoni at the Montreal courthouse.

The 40-year-old man pleaded guilty in September 2019 to reduced charges of second-degree murder of the baby and aggravated assault on his then-wife.

The unexpected admission of guilt on the second day of Ghazi’s jury trial took everyone by surprise.

The second-degree murder count automatically carries a life sentence. All that remained was to determine the number of years Ghazi would need to spend in prison before he was eligible for parole. The minimum is 10 years.

READ MORE: Montreal man seeking to withdraw plea for killing unborn child looks for legal help

In the agreed statement of facts, it was revealed in court that Ghazi had stabbed his wife 19 times — including 12 times on the left side of her stomach and seven times on the top of her left thigh — in July 2017.

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Nine of the stabbings with a meat fork injured the unborn baby. The mother was 36 weeks pregnant at the time.

The autopsy performed on the baby identified as the cause of death in utero was trauma caused by a sharp object. The baby’s mother survived the attack.

By pleading guilty, Ghazi avoided going to trial.

However, Ghazi tried to withdraw his guilty pleas less than two weeks later but the court refused this withdrawal of plea last March.