Shortly before his sentence was read, Ashiqur Rahman maintained his innocence in the death of his seven-week-old daughter.
“I have been and will always be sorry for failing to save my daughter,” he told the court.
He was found guilty of manslaughter and aggravated assault in June for slapping, shaking and tossing the baby.
On Tuesday at the Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax, Judge Felix Cacchione sentenced Rahman to six years and six months for the manslaughter death of Aurora Breathrough in July 2009.
Rahman was given double credit for the time he spent in pretrial custody which equals to two years and three months.
The Crown was looking for at least 10 years, arguing at least five separate incidents of assault meant a pattern of aggression, but Cacchione said be believed each outburst was a spontaneous loss of control.
Caccione said Rahman, who was 23 at the time of his daughter’s death, was immature, selfish and he was driven by a desire to become a successful businessman which clouded his ability to be compassionate and caring to others.
“He’s an intelligent and capable young man and will be punished for what he did,” Cacchione said.
At trial Rahman said an undiagnosed birth defect caused her death but Crown attorney Denise Smith told reporters outside the courtroom the baby’s body told the story.
“The nature of the injuries spoke for themselves,” she said. The baby suffered several internal injuries including 27 rib fractures, extensive brain damage, and injuries to every long bone in her body.
“Balancing that is all her injuries were internal and were not visible to Mr. Raman or Ms. (Jane) Gomes, her mother, or medical professionals who cared for her prior to her death.”
That fact was noted by Cacchione in evaluating Rahman’s culpability.
Although it’s not the sentence she recommended, Smith said it was in the range given out in similar cases and does not intend to file an appeal.
Baby’s mother has victim impact statement read
Jane Gomes, the child’s mother, testified against her former boyfriend during the trial, saying she saw him slap and hit Aurora in the weeks before she died.
In exchange for her testimony, Gomes received a conditional discharge with six months probation for failing to provide the necessities of life.
She wasn’t in court on Tuesday, but prosecutor Denise Smith read a victim impact statement in court on her behalf.
“I have dreams about (Aurora) very often, mostly happy and a few frightening ones,” Smith said.
“Then I wake up to the reality. She is dead. … There is nothing to be hopeful for.
“Words cannot express how it feels when I think of my grave mistake of trusting Ashiqur with Aurora and the pain she endured in that little life because of that mistake.” – with files from The Canadian Press