The man who pleaded guilty to throwing acid at his girlfriend two and a half years ago in Longueuil could face as little as 16 additional months behind bars – even if the maximum sentence is 14 years. 

Nikolas Stefanatos was in court Wednesday for the sentencing phase of his trial.

He pleaded guilty last month to throwing a household product containing acid at his ex-girlfriend Tanya St-Arnauld in 2012.  

The court is set to determine sentencing, but the prosecution and defence have negotiated a deal that would see Stefanatos serve slightly less than five years minus time already served, plus three years’ probation.

“We suggested a prison term of 57 months for Mr Stefanatos today, taking into account all the aggravating and mitigating circumstances and we took into account a number of decisions that were rendered Canada-wide in similar circumstances,” said prosecutor Erin Kavanagh.

The deal would leave Stefanatos with only 16 months left to serve. 

The aggravating circumstances include the horrific nature of the crime, as well as the scars St-Arnauld will be forced to carry for the rest of her life. 

Defence lawyer Melanie Gregoire argued it was a domestic dispute gone wrong, and that there was no premeditation.

She also surprised the court by arguing Stefanatos also suffered, because he, too, was burned by the acid.

He has burns all over his body,” she argued, adding that Stefanatos suffered abuse from other prisoners.

The defence tactic did not buy him sympathy from the prosecution.

“This is a case that's received wide media attention nationwide and internationally as well, but the judge shouldn't take that into consideration when imposing the sentence,” said Kavanagh.

Even if the prosecution and defence devise a common suggestion, the judge is not legally bound by it, and could technically increase or lower the sentence.
She will render her decision Dec. 16.