Exactly three weeks after a Pickering man was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 17 years after pleading guilty to the second-degree murder of his pregnant wife, the family of the victim, Arianna Goberdhan, has learned Nicholas Baig is appealing the sentence.
Chan Goberdhan told Global News he and his wife Sherry got a call from the crown attorney in charge of the case, which wrapped up on May 2, advising them their former son-in-law is appealing the sentence.
“I’m not surprised … He’s (Baig’s) a narcissist. I don’t think [the Court of Appeal for Ontario] will overturn the sentence,” said Chan.
Arianna Goberdhan, 27, was found dead in Baig’s parents home on Winville Road in Pickering on April 7, 2017. She was 37 weeks pregnant with the couple’s first child. Arianna had been stabbed 17 times and was left bleeding and partially naked. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Baig fled the scene in Arianna’s father’s car and was not arrested until the following night in Markham after an arrest warrant was issued. Baig was originally charged with second-degree murder but the charges were later upgraded to first-degree murder. Baig pleaded guilty in January to second-degree murder.
At the time of the fatal stabbing, Arianna was estranged from her husband and the couple had only been married to for six months. Arianna’s family told global news she had endured years of verbal and physical abuse but had gone to see Baig that night believing he was capable of changing.
Court records also showed that Goberdhan had gone to police twice and Baig was charged with domestic assault. But in both cases, she had the charges withdrawn.
Before sentencing Baig to life in prison with no chance of parole for 17 years, Justice Jocelyn Speyer told the court, “The impact of this senseless act of cruelty was profound and crushing.” The crown had asked for a period of parole ineligibility of up to 20 years. The defence suggested a 15-year period of parole ineligibility.
Arianna’s mother Sherry told Global News she believes her former son-in-law is desperate.
“Now that he got his sentence, he’s looking for a lighter sentence. Why?” she asked.
Chan and Sherry said they believe Speyer wanted to give Baig a higher sentence, adding they believe she was “confined and restricted by the laws we have in Canada.”
The Goberdhan family is petitioning the House of Commons to recognize the unborn baby girl, who would have been named Assara. They want a new law to reflect the murder of pre-born child.
“This is why we need to get Arianna’s law signed. To keep people like this behind bars,” said Chan.