Defence appeal from 8 year jail sentence imposed following a guilty plea to manslaughter. Accused and victim were acquaintances. Two co-accused’s attended at victim’s home to rob him. Victim was tied up, with a belt around his neck (placed there by the co-accused). Although the victim was still alive when the accused left the residence, he died some time later of ligature strangulation.

Held: Appeal dismissed.

Trial judge was correct to place the accused’s moral blameworthiness in the highest of the three Laberge categories. Although the accused did not intend for the victim to die, “the appellant cannot claim ignorance of the victim’s distress as he was close enough to the victim to see and hear his struggles and to walk through the victim’s blood [he was coughing up blood] … Yet the appellant did nothing to relieve the strangulation.”

A. Serink – Defence Counsel