A Cape Breton family is frustrated with the justice system after a man who repeatedly stabbed their son to death in Calgary was given a seven-year prison sentence.

Nicolas Rasberry was handed the sentence Friday for killing 32-year-old Craig Kelloway during a drunken dispute on May 4, 2013.

Kelloway’s mother, Monica Kelloway, says the sentence is a “slap in the face.”

“It’s more for the criminals than anything else,” said Kelloway. “They have the rights. How can my son have a right? “He can't talk, and (Rasberry) made sure of it.

Rasberry used three different knives, breaking all of them during the attack. Kelloway was left with 37 stab wounds.

During the trial, Rasberry argued the attack was in self-defence. He said Kelloway tried to sexually touch him, and said Rasberry's wife would be next.

But in Glace Bay, those who knew Craig Kelloway have a hard time believing that story.

“I said how did this happen? Who would do it? He wouldn't even fight,” said former teacher Marguerite Verbeski. “I just can't believe this man is saying what he's saying about Craig. It's all lies.”

Kelloway was a popular school teacher, who left behind a wife and a baby boy.

Rasberry was originally charged with second-degree murder, but it was later reduced to manslaughter. Minus time served, he will spend five years and four months behind bars.

The Crown is now appealing the verdict.

“The trial was a farce,” said Kelloway. “It was like it was all done beforehand. They didn't even put the lead investigator on, they didn't have a character witness for Craig. How can you go to trail and not have all this information?”

Kelloway says the family will not stop fighting until they have justice for their son.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.