Guilty plea, life sentence in 2012 south London murder
Published Tuesday, April 22, 2014 12:57PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 22, 2014 6:29PM EDT
Chawki El-Birani has pleaded guilty in connection with the stabbing death of his wife, 50-year-old Sonia El-Birani at their south London home.
In court on Tuesday, he was sentenced to life behind bars with no possibility of parole for 10 years.
Police were called to the family's Archer Crescent home in the White Oaks neighbourhood the night of April 11, 2012 for what turned out to be London's first murder that year.
Sonia was found by two of her daughters. She was suffering from 25 stab wounds and was later pronounced dead in hospital.
Chawki, who was 53 at the time, was charged with second-degree murder.
He reportedly suffered from mental health issues including depression and paranoid thoughts.
The couple's three daughters delivered emotional victim impact statements on Tuesday.
Maha El-Birani said she grew up in a oppressive home where at one point she was told she was not allowed to laugh anymore, and she continues to be tormented by questions.
"How long did she (mama) lay there bleeding? How long was she afraid? Did she try to fight him off?...He killed my best friend, my confidante, my mentor, my partner in life...If he can kill the mother of his children, he can kill his children."
The court heard that even though the daughters now live overseas in Lebanon, they are still fearful of their father.
Daughter Houda El-Birani said "I never want to hear from him ever again. I never want to see him again alive or dead."