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CRIMINAL CODE OFFENCES - Flight from police - Driving while disqualified

Thursday, November 14, 2019 @ 3:58 AM  


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Appeal by the accused from a sentence of four-and-a-half-years’ imprisonment for flight from police and driving while disqualified. In response to a routine attempted traffic stop by police, the appellant sped away in a residential area. The appellant continued speeding on a highway at excessive speeds for about one hour. The appellant was a 38-year-old Métis man with a lengthy and significant criminal record, with 73 prior convictions. He had two prior convictions for criminal flight. He had 11 prior convictions for driving while disqualified. The appellant argued the sentencing judge over-emphasized denunciation and deterrence and re-punished the appellant for previous crimes, thereby offending the sentencing principle of proportionality.

HELD: Appeal allowed. The sentence of two and one-half years’ imprisonment for flight from police was not unfit. The two-year sentence imposed for driving while disqualified offended both the jump principle and the proportionality principle. A 19-month increase over the prior sentence of five months overemphasized the appellant’s record. A sentence of one year’s imprisonment would achieve the goal of sending a message to the offender that this was a serious offence but would have also respected the jump principle and overall proportionality. The five-year driving prohibition was reduced to three years. Both parties had suggested a three-year driving prohibition was appropriate. With no notice to the parties and no real explanation the sentencing judge imposed a five-year driving prohibition. Sentence: Two and one-half years’ imprisonment for flight from police; one-year consecutive for driving while disqualified; three-year driving prohibition.

R. v. Calliou, [2019] A.J. No. 1318, Alberta Court of Appeal, P.W.L. Martin, F.F. Slatter and R. Khullar JJ.A., October 4, 2019. Digest No. TLD-November112019008