Defence appeal of sentence after guilty plea to assault causing bodily harm. Appellant hit his infant daughter while intoxicated, causing bruising and scratching. Trial judge imposed 2 years less a day plus 2 years probation. Crown had only sought 18 months incarceration and defence had proposed 6-9 months. No notice to counsel of intention to impose a longer term, invitation for additional submissions, or reasons why Crown position was unfit.
Held: Appeal allowed (in part).
Appeal allowed only in relation to reduction for pre-trial credit not considered at sentencing. As per Hood, 2011 ABCA 169 and Keough, 2012 ABCA 14, “giving fair warning to counsel when a sentence outside the recommended range is proposed is a necessary component of a wider principle that parties are entitled to reasonable notice if the judge is contemplating a disposition not advocated by either party”. However, this was an error without consequence for review on appeal as sentence was not unfit, considering the sole mitigating factor of a guilty plea and many aggravating factors.
P. Moreau – Defence Counsel