Accused sentenced to 15 months’ jail and 3 years probation, and lifetime driving prohibition for a number of offences including 3 counts of disqualified driving. Argument on appeal that sentencing judge gave insufficient weight to mitigating factor of appellant’s significant mental disorder that resulted from traumatic brain injury.
Held: Appeal allowed on other grounds.
For offenders suffering from mental disorder, “general deterrence should be given very little if any weight”: Bellcourt, 2010 ABCA 319. “That said, in this case, the protection of the public must take precedence, mindful of the clear and unequivocal evidence that following the trauma of the July, 2015 accident and notwithstanding the appellant’s cognitive impairment resulting from that accident, he continued to drive while disqualified.” Sentence not unfit. Appeal allowed only in relation to conceded error regarding pre-trial credit and variation of probation conditions.
A. Attia – Defence Counsel