Life sentence for Quebec mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette

Quebec City mosque shooter sentenced to life with no parole for 40 years

Quebec Mosque Shooter Alexandre Bissonnette's Sentencing Underway

The man who shot dead six worshippers in a Quebec City mosque in 2017 has been sentenced to serve 40 years in prison before being eligible for parole.

Bissonnette, now 29, pleaded guilty last March to six charges of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder.

Prosecutors had asked for Bissonnette to serve six consecutive sentences or 150-years in prison without eligibility for parole, the harshest sentence since Canada abolished the death penalty in 1976.

However, Huot said under Canadian law he could only decide in 25-year tranches on parole, CBC News' Catou MacKinnon reported, and 50 years was "clearly excessive".

But Huot said Bissonnette had previously considered attacking other targets including feminists, shopping centres and airports.

The sentence has yet to be determined by the judge, Superior Court Justice Francois Huot, but Huot said in court that this mass-murder "will forever be written in blood in the history of this city, this province, this country".

"QUOTE " httSix men - Aboubaker Thabti, Abdelkrim Hassane, Khaled Belkacemi, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Ibrahima Barry and Azzedine Soufiane - were killed and 19 others were wounded in the shooting, including five critically.

Alexandre Bissonnette, 29, will have to serve 40 years - longer than usual - before he can apply for parole.

"(The decision) does seem unusual, but it's also very consistent with what some judges are saying, not just about this section, but about sentencing and the larger discussion about these sections in the Criminal Code", she said.

"Time goes by quickly", he said.

Alexandre Bissonnette is escorted to a van in Quebec City after appearing in court for the deadly shooting at a mosque.

A 2011 legal change allows Canadian judges to hand down consecutive sentences in the case of multiple murders.

As the 246-page verdict was read over six hours, Bissonnette sat quietly in the courtroom, gazing at his feet while his parents and several friends and family of the victims wiped tears from their eyes.

At the start of his trial in 2017, he said he had been suicidal, "swept away by fear and by frightful despair", and deeply regretted his "unforgivable" actions.

Huot said Bissonnette's actions in entering the mosque at the end of prayers and shooting congregants were not a terrorist attack, but motivated by prejudice, particularly toward Muslim immigrants.

Following hearings a year ago, the sentence was expected to be handed down in October, but the judge delayed it to have more time to ponder his decision.

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