Former U of T professor and neurosurgeon Mohammed Shamji was sentenced on May 9 to life in prison for the murder of his wife, Dr. Elana Fric-Shamji, who was also a U of T professor and a family physician. He will be eligible to appeal for parole after 14 years.
Last month, Shamji pleaded guilty to the charge of second-degree murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence. The sentencing hearing was to determine his parole-ineligibility period.
Shamji killed Fric-Shamji on November 30, 2016, two days after she filed for a divorce. It had been the second time she had initiated divorce proceedings “after years of unhappiness” marked by physical, verbal, and emotional abuse.
Ontario Superior Court Justice John McMahon agreed with the joint proposal by the Crown and Defense to set Shamji’s parole at 14 years, stating that the sentencing “reflects the gravity of the violence in a domestic murder, but also acknowledges the remorse and guilty plea and the positive antecedents of the accused.”
Shamji’s guilty plea meant that his now 14-year-old daughter — a key witness in the case — would not be required to testify.
After the sentencing, Fric-Shamji’s mother, Ana Fric, told reporters that there was no penalty the court could give Shamji that would justify what he had done “to Elana and especially to [their] children.” As he delivered his sentencing, McMahon said that “it is also yet another case of domestic homicide, which this court sees all too frequently.”
Fric asked reporters to “please help to keep Elana’s memory alive in the hope that other women can be saved from such a horrible fate.”
Shamji has been ordered by the court to have no contact with his three children without prior consent.
If you or someone you know needs help, you can call the Assaulted Women’s Helpline’s 24-hour crisis line:
1-866-863-0511 (Toll Free)