The Sudbury man who tried to kill a mother and her eight-month-old baby girl in a city parking lot two years ago has been sentenced to two concurrent life sentences with no chance for parole for 10 years.
The sentence was imposed by Ontario Senior Regional Justice Karen Lische in Sudbury on 28-year-old Alexander Stavropoulos who pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder for the incident which occurred on June 3, 2019 in mall parking lot on Marcus Drive. A mother pushing a baby stroller toward her car was attacked by a man with a knife, who slashed and stabbed her several times before he began punching the baby in the stroller. The attack was stopped after several seconds by witnesses and bystanders who heard the woman screaming and the baby crying.
The mother survived the attack after life saving surgery at Health Sciences North. She has a permanent disability in that one of the arteries that feeds the brain was destroyed. The baby was relatively uninjured and a full assessment of the trauma will only come in time. Court was told the child has trust issues with her mother.
It was at a sentencing hearing back in September that assistant Crown Attorney Leonard Kim had asked the court to impose a minimum parole eligibility for no less than 10 years. Defence counsel had requested that the full sentence be no more than 12 years, which would mean less actual time behind bars and less time for parole eligibility.
In his argument for a tougher sentence, Crown Attorney Kim said Stavropoulos would have actually committed murder if it wasn't for the fact that he dropped the utility knife that he was using.
In passing sentence, the judge also noted that based on a psychiatric assessment, which included a violence risk appraisal guide, it was determined that Stavropoulos had a high risk of committing another violent offence within five years.
In statements provided to police, Stavropoulos spoke of his frustration and hatred toward white women who had romantic relationships with men of other races. He said he was part of the online ‘incel’ community, which refers to men who are involuntarily celibate.
Stavropoulos said he was planning to kill a white female and that the idea of killing a white female child would carry greater shock value and have a terrorizing effect.
"Although the nature of the attack was unprovoked and random, it was focused on Alexander Stavropoulos's clear intent to kill a young white girl. He indicated to (psychiatrist) Dr. Gray after the offence that killing a white child would have greater shock value. Killing a child imparts greater shock value than killing a woman. This is an attempt to terrorize a community by committing a crime so shocking that people take note. Society cannot protect itself from this type of unthinkable and brutally violent crime that is so random, and based on such hatred," said Lische.
She added that the crimes were devastating for those involved.
"Three generations within the same family have suffered great trauma and will continue to suffer for the foreseeable future."
Lische explained that the Criminal Code gives her the power to delay parole eligibility so that the portion of the sentence that must be served before the offender may be released on full parole is one half of the sentence or 10 years, whichever is less.
"Although it appears that I am making a case for why parole eligibility should be delayed in this case, I am not," said Lische.
She said she appreciated that Stavropoulos is 28 years old and she had just imposed two concurrent life sentences on him.
"He will be incarcerated or on parole for the rest of his life," said Lishce.
"I have to balance his manipulative nature, his propensity for catastrophic violence against his youth and his potential for rehabilitation," she continued.
At this point Stavropoulos, who was appearing on a teleconference link from jail, had his head down and was running his hands slowly over his head. It was difficult to gauge facial expression, as he was wearing a mask.
In passing sentence, the judge also remarked on what she called the brutality of the crime and the bizarre reasons Stavropoulos gave for his actions. She said it had a shocking impact on the community of Sudbury.
"The level of cruelty, brutality and unusual violence is shocking. The level of cruelty and callousness used by Alexander Stavropoulos is rarely encountered. It is the deliberate, premeditated, planned, purposeful infliction of brutal, disfiguring life-threatening injuries. There was a degree of planning and deliberation by the offender. He had been thinking about it for months. Alexander Stavropoulos' level of moral blameworthiness is extremely high. The moral blameworthiness for an attempt to murder someone is as serious as in the crime of murder," said the judge.
In addition to the concurrent life sentences, Stavropoulos was also sentenced for four years for breach of probation on a previous charge. It too was imposed concurrently, which means it will be rolled into the other sentences without any additional real time commitment.