A court has upheld the life sentence for Christopher Husbands, who shot and killed two people and wounded several others at the Eaton Centre in 2012.

In the decision released Wednesday, Ontario’s top court tossed out Husbands’ appeal, dismissing his lawyers’ request to set aside the life sentences he received in 2019 and instead, impose a fixed term of 15 years’ imprisonment.

“There is no basis for interfering with the life sentences imposed on the appellant,” Associate Chief Justice Michal Fairburn wrote on behalf of a three-judge panel.

“The trial judge imposed the life sentences after carefully assessing all mitigating and aggravating circumstances and taking all relevant evidence into account.”

Husbands was initially sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole for 30 years after he was found guilty of two counts of second-degree murder in 2014.

But after successfully appealing the conviction, Husbands was awarded another trial in 2019.

While he admitted to the shooting inside the busy downtown shopping centre on June 2, 2012, during his second trial, his lawyers argued that his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was triggered by an encounter he had with men who had assaulted him months earlier.

A jury later found Husbands guilty of two counts of manslaughter and he was sentenced to life in prison with parole eligibility set at the statutory minimum of seven years.

The shooting claimed the lives of 24-year-old Ahmed Hassan and 22-year-old Nixon Nirmalendran, and left a 13-year-old boy seriously injured after he sustained a gunshot wound to the head.

In the appeal of his sentence, Husbands’ lawyers made a number of arguments, including that the trial judge applied the “wrong test” for determining whether Husbands PTSD was linked to his criminal conduct. The lawyers added that the judge imposed a “demonstrably unfit sentence.”

But Fairburn dismissed these arguments, noting that the trial judge “arrived at sentences that he considered appropriate within the limits established by law.”

“There is no error in principle. There is no failure to consider a relevant factor. There is no erroneous consideration of aggravating or mitigating circumstances. The sentence is not demonstrably unfit,” she continued.

Fairburn added that while maximum sentences are “rare,” they are “not out of reach in circumstances where the principle of proportionality is respected.”

“Certainly, it was within reach here. The facts have already been reviewed. This case was about as close as a manslaughter will come to a murder. The victim impact is profound: 2 young men are dead and a 13-year-old and his family have had their lives altered forever,” she wrote.

“That is not even to mention the other victims of the shooting crime, or the over 700 people that experienced the fear and panic that came with it.”

The decision noted that while the defence originally appealed the manslaughter convictions and the Crown initially appealed the acquittals on second-degree murder, both sides ultimately abandoned those appeals.