The mother of a Cochrane teen killed by a drunk driver is unhappy with the two-year sentenced being proposed for her son’s killer.

But Kim Thomas said she is at least satisfied she and her supporters had their day in court Wednesday.

Thomas and a group of 13 other family and close friends were able to present heart-wrenching victim impact statements at the Calgary sentencing hearing of Ryan Jordan Gibson.

Gibson, 24, earlier pleaded guilty to four charges, including impaired driving causing death, in the Dec. 6, 2012 crash south of Cochrane, which killed Brandon Thomas, 17.

“I know that he knows Brandon now,” the mother said, after Judge Karim Jivraj heard statements from those who were devastated by her son’s loss.

“I know he’s heard us,” she said.

“Brandon is not just a name on a piece of paper.”

And while Thomas appreciated comments suggesting Gibson’s sentencing couldn’t change the tragedy of her son’s death, she said the hearing should have been just as much about him as the confessed killer driver.

“A young life was taken,” she said outside court.

“It is about the life that was taken, not about the life that was left and their rights.”

Earlier, Crown prosecutor Ron Simenik said a sentence at the bottom end of the normal two- to four-year range would be appropriate in Gibson’s case, a submission supported by defence counsel Alain Hepner.

Both lawyers said there were no aggravating factors above the actual offence itself to justify a term in excess of two years.

And Simenik said while Gibson agreed to facts which supported his conviction, it may not have been easy for the prosecution to prove those allegations in a trial.

“He is giving up his right to a trial and I am giving up the opportunity to ask for more,” he said.

Simenik said Gibson’s punishment isn’t meant to reflect what Thomas’s family suffered.

“We’re not evaluating the life that is lost,” he said.

Jivraj also heard from Gibson, who apologized to the victim’s supporters, but said he understood they wouldn’t forgive him.

“It makes me physically ill thinking about what I have done and what those actions have made me,” Gibson said.

“I tell you this not in search of any kind of sympathy, but in hopes to humanize the monster that I rightfully am in your eyes.”

Jivraj will sentence him May 12.

Source: The Calgary Sun


Last updated on: 2014-04-20 | Link to this post