TORONTO — The mother of a woman murdered by her husband after filing for divorce says her daughter endured more than a decade of domestic abuse at the hands of her spouse.
Ana Fric says Mohammed Shamji had physically and sexually assaulted her daughter, Elana Fric Shamji, and also had extra marital affairs.
Fric says she learned of the abuse after the birth of the couple's first grandchild, when her daughter told her Shamji had assaulted her, threatened her life and the life of her baby.
During the 12 years the abuse continued, Fric says she repeatedly urged her daughter to leave the marriage, but she refused to do so.
Fric Shamji, a respected family doctor, eventually decided in 2016 to divorce her neurosurgeon husband.
Court heard that Shamji attacked his wife two days after she served him with divorce papers, breaking her neck and ribs and choking her to death as their three children slept nearby.
He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on the eve of his trial last month, and was sentenced today to life in prison with no chance of parole for 14 years.
Fric, who revealed the details of the volatile marriage outside court after the sentence, says she hopes her daughter's story will help other women in similar circumstances.
"I very much want to talk about Elana as to keep her memory alive but also want to talk about the domestic violence that she endured for 12 years before she died in the hope that other women in circumstances will realize that unless they have the courage to leave their partners at the early stage, they could suffer the same fate as Elana," Fric said.
Justice John McMahon, who presided over the case, called it another tragic instance of domestic homicide that he sees far too often.
"Three young children have lost their mother forever," McMahon said. "Their father has now admitted, and (been) convicted to, killing their mother and sentenced to life in prison today."
McMahon credited Shamji for his last-minute guilty plea, which saved one of his daughters from testifying as a key witness at the trial. But he also condemned Shamji for the nature of the brutal murder at the couple's home.
"I recognize there is no evidence of planning. A heated argument led to the killing," McMahon said. "The nature of the violence is extreme."