Two accused were each convicted at trial of three counts of first-degree murder. Crown sought imposition of consecutive parole ineligibility periods under s 745.51 CC for a total of 75 years.

Held: Concurrent parole ineligibility imposed (25 years).

“A sentence that extinguishes any hope of release for an offender is a crushing sentence. It risks violating the principle of totality as being unduly long and especially harsh.” While in some exceptional instances “offenders may deserve to have all hope extinguished…this is not one of those cases.” Here, denunciatory value of consecutive parole ineligibility would be “purely symbolic”. Such a sentence would not address rehabilitation, and might in fact do less to deter further offences while in custody than a 25-year ineligibility period. Consecutive ineligibility was inappropriate in the circumstances and contrary to principles of totality and restraint.

A. Fay / T. Roulston – Defence Counsel