Appellant convicted after trial of 10 counts (robbery, break and enter, unlawful confinement, and others). He appealed his 7-year jail sentence on the robbery, saying the trial judge erred by not giving effect to Gladue factors. He argued a 5-year jail sentence would have been appropriate. His Gladue factors included family members in residential schools and foster care from age six, where he suffered abuse and neglect. He had substance abuse issues and little education or employment experience.
Held: Appeal allowed; robbery sentence reduced to 6 years’ jail.
“One way of understanding s 718.2(e) and Gladue is as a partial remedy for the systemic discrimination suffered by aboriginal people which has led to their overrepresentation in the criminal justice system…The sentencing judge is required to consider the individual circumstances of the aboriginal offender in this context, with a view to achieving a sentence that is commensurate with the offender’s moral blameworthiness…” The trial judge inadequately assessed the Appellant’s moral blameworthiness in light of his Gladue factors.
S. Smith – Defence Counsel