Sentence increased for Calgary man who strangled wife and entombed her in cement

The Calgary father who strangled his wife and hid her body in their basement where he lived with their children for a year before he was caught will spend more time in prison.

On Thursday, the Alberta Court of Appeal increased Allan Shyback's sentence from seven to 10 years after hearing arguments from prosecutor Sarah Clive and defence lawyer Balfour Der last week.

The panel of judges found Shyback's sentence was "demonstrably unfit having regard to the gravity of the offence and the degree of responsibility of the respondent."

Originally charged with second-degree murder, Shyback was convicted in 2017 of manslaughter and indignity to Lisa Mitchell's body. 

Shyback received a five-year sentence for the manslaughter conviction plus two years to be served consecutively for indignity to a body. 

In 2012, Shyback strangled Mitchell during an argument and then tried to cover up his crime by placing Mitchell's remains in a Rubbermaid container and cementing it into a wall in the corner of the basement. 

In its decision, the Court of Appeal called the offender's next moves his "long deception." Shyback kept up lies that Mitchell had disappeared, causing her family and children years of false hope and anguish. 

Meghan Grant/CBC

During his trial, Shyback told the court he'd been the victim of domestic abuse for years and, on the day of the fatal argument, Mitchell came at him with a knife.

Mitchell was last seen in Calgary in October 2012. An undercover police operation started in 2013 and ended with Shyback's confession and arrest in Winnipeg a year later.

He told undercover officers he panicked when he realized he had killed Mitchell and was afraid that if he called police, his children would be taken away.

After the confession, police recovered Mitchell's remains.

The prosecution originally proposed a 13- to 15-year sentence for the two convictions. Defence lawyer Der argued for a five-year prison sentence. The couple's children now live with their maternal grandmother.