A Nova Scotia man who fatally stabbed his former partner and mother of his children 18 times has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 17 years.

“Seventeen years is appropriate in this case given the brutality of the killing, given that Mr. Hales deprived three younger children of their mother,” said Crown attorney Mark Heerema.

“He’s remorseful, he’s entered a guilty plea, he’s never had any trouble with the law,” said defence lawyer Eugene Tan.

It all began when Dustin Hales and Christina Cline decided to bring another woman, Victoria Weir, into their relationship.

In November 2011, Hales plotted with Weir to lure Cline to Dartmouth’s Shubie Park to kill her. Hales jumped out of the woods and stabbed Cline 18 times.

A man walking through the park found Cline’s body on a remote trail known as Vivian’s Way on Nov. 19, 2011. She was 27.

“It was a very complicated situation. There was a series of monogamous, then polygamous relationships, and then monogamous relationships,” said Tan.

Heerema read a victim impact statement from Cline’s mother, who lives in Ontario, in court on Friday:

“It is hard to watch her children growing up without a mother and now without their father. They must go on each day knowing that their mother was viciously taken from them and that they will never see her again. They struggle each day trying to hide the scars that this has given them.”

While reading his decision, Justice Patrick Duncan said Hales’ actions were selfish with a total disregard for the welfare of his children. He went on to say Cline’s death was a “brutal and senseless act.”

Hales, 39, read from a prepared statement Friday, saying he feels anguish and remorse.

“Never complain about growing old. Growing old was a privilege denied to Christina because of me,” he said.

Weir pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in December 2013. She was sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility of parole for 15 years.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell