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Tom Rees | Criminal Defence Lawyer Winnipeg
7
Feb

Manitoba Man Sentenced to 31 months for a Number of Driving Offences

A Manitoba man has been sentenced to 31 months of custody following a guilty plea to:

  • Impaired Driving
  • Assault Peace Officer
  • Fail to Remain at the Scene of an Accident
  • Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle
  • Theft of a Motor Vehicle

The man plead guilty to stealing a pickup truck, causing a collision with another vehicle on the road, crashing into a crosswalk sign pole and fleeing the scene. Then attempted to flee in the stolen vehicle once police caught up to him by striking their vehicles with his. The accused also plead guilty to striking an officer when he was removed from the vehicle.

The Crown argued that the man should receive a 5.5 year sentence, stating that all of the sentences should be served consecutively. The Crown did not mention Totality, a law that reduces the total sentence when the length of a series of consecutive sentences would be unfair.

Defence argued that the total sentence should be 30 months, and that the Court should take into account the offender’s age and Gladue factors.

The Judge made the following comments about the sentence:

[33]        Considering all of the factors and principles outlined in the sentencing provisions of the Criminal Code and having regard to the fundamental purpose and principles so set out, as well as the aggravating and mitigating circumstances stated alone and giving the accused special consideration as an Aboriginal person, he is sentenced as follows:

•      Drive impaired…………………………………………….. 1 month

•      Assault Peace Officer……………………………………. 5 months, consecutive

•      Leave scene of accident…………………………………. 3 months, consecutive

•      Drive dangerous………………………………………….. 17 months, consecutive

•      Theft of motor vehicle………………………………….. 9 months, consecutive

•      Total………………………………………………………….. 35 months

The Court reduced the sentence by 4 months after discussing the concept of Totality.

[34]        Consideration of the principle of totality and the taking of the “last look” necessitates an examination of the gravity of the offences, the offender’s degree of guilt or moral blameworthiness with respect to the crimes committed and the harm done to the victims (see para. 73 R. v. James, 2013 MBCA 14 (CanLII)).  In this case the accused’s degree of moral blameworthiness is, as has been previously discussed, somewhat reduced by his personal circumstances.  As well, the harm done to the victims was fortunately at the lower end of the scale.  Accordingly I reduce his total sentence by four months, making it 31 months in length.

The Judge accepted counsel’s recommendation that the accused man receive 1.5:1 credit for his pre-sentence custody.

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