He waged a two-year campaign of terror that left his wife and four young children with nowhere to turn, fearing he would shoot them dead if they tried to escape.
But minutes before a judge sentenced him to 13 years in prison earlier this month, the man sounded like he was the one who had been wronged.
"I feel so sorry from my heart… I made a very bad atmosphere in the family for them," he said before going on to insist his time in pre-trial custody was "100 times worse than the hell they describe" and he faced daily threats from gang members.
"My life is in danger, which is not easy to handle," he complained.
The man cannot be named to protect the identity of his victims, who remain in hiding. He was convicted after trial of raping his wife, assaulting and confining his wife and children against their will and threatening to kill them.
"He abused and confined his entire family over the course of two years, essentially torturing them on a nearly daily basis," Crown attorney Carolyn Reimer said at a sentencing hearing before provincial court Judge Brent Stewart.
"He was depriving them of freedom and a sense of safety and security. He deprived them of a normal and happy life, really."
During a trial last year, the man’s wife and three children testified he controlled their every movement and that they lived in constant fear he would kill them.
The man’s wife testified on one occasion when she was working in the kitchen, he dragged her to the bedroom, locked the door and ripped off her clothes before raping her.
The woman said this was one of many times he forced sex on her without her consent, "but due to the extreme violence of this particular rape and extreme humiliation, she felt this was what she would refer to especially as rape," Reimer said.
"The kids said it was a common thing that they witnessed (their father) dragging their mother to the bedroom as she cried and begged for him to stop," Reimer said.
On another occasion, the man was waving a machete at the woman’s neck and slashed her hand open when she tried to defend herself. He refused to allow her to seek medical treatment, fearing "she might tell somebody what happened," Reimer said.
The man’s children testified to seeing him attempt to suffocate their mother with a pillow or strangle her with an electrical cord. On other occasions, he covered the woman’s hands and mouth with duct tape, "seemingly for some kind of punishment for some behaviour he didn’t like," Reimer said.
The family lived in a suite in the same house as the man’s brother and other family members, all of whom had immigrated to Winnipeg from the Middle East.
Court heard the man had become addicted to meth and believed his wife was cheating on him. He screwed the door to the suite shut, trapping his wife and children inside and set up a security camera so he could monitor their movements.
"He controlled and confined them just by fear… but he actually physically confined the family as well," Reimer said.
The man often talked about buying a gun and threatened to shoot his wife if the children didn’t behave. The man’s daughter testified he threatened to shoot her and asked "how many bullets she would need to take."
"The fears were not unreasonable," Reimer said, noting police confirmed the man had made efforts to purchase a firearm.
The man’s children reported being beaten "almost every day" and that they were kept home from school if they had visible injuries.
When the man’s wife appealed to his family for help, they rejected her, Reimer said.
"Their response was horrific and despicable," she said. "They dismissed her, they ignored her and they blamed her for the violence (the accused) was dealing out," she said.
Following the man’s arrest, his family, including his elderly mother, assisted him in breaching a no-contact order with the victims and urged the children to lie to court, Reimer said.
Asked why the man’s family wasn’t charged with obstruction of justice, Reimer told Stewart the victims feared it would result in further retaliation. "The Crown really struggled with that," she said.
According to a pre-sentence report prepared for court, the man said he wants to reunite with his family "no matter what it takes."
"That’s a terrifying statement," Reimer said. "He’s been served with divorce papers and he’s still thinking they will work this out somehow."