A man who pleaded guilty in a 2015 crash that left a Surrey father paralyzed has been sentenced to nearly two years in prison.

Christopher Malloy appeared before a judge on Monday after pleading guilty to three counts of impaired driving causing bodily injury and one count of failing to remain at the accident scene.

The 52-year-old was initially going to be sentenced last month, but a judge delayed the hearing, saying that he didn't think the recommended sentences filed by the Crown and defence were "appropriate" for the case.

The defence had asked for between 12 and 18 months of jail time, hoping for a sentence on the lower end of the range. The Crown asked for 12 to 18 months for the three counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm, and two more months for failing to remain at the scene of an accident.

In a Surrey courtroom, the judge handed down a sentence Monday that was higher than their recommendations, saying that the suggestions were meant to be used only as a guideline.

He sentenced Malloy to two years less a day, and a three-year driving ban.

The judge said the mitigating factors in his decision were that Malloy had a difficult childhood, pleaded guilty, and said he'd been sober since the January 2015 crash. Aggravating factors included Malloy's history of roadside prohibitions, and his blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash.

Last month, the court heard that tests showed Malloy's blood-alcohol level was between three and five times the legal limit. Another aggravating factor was the estimated speed at which he was travelling: between 140 km/h and 152 km/h, in an area with a speed limit of only 60.

The judge also took into account the severity of injuries caused by the crash.

Malloy's SUV struck a vehicle being driven by Gurbinder Aujla, a father of four who was taking his son home from hockey practice. The 10-year-old recovered from minor injuries, but Aujla was left paralyzed from the chest down as a result of the crash.

"I still have pain," Aujla told CTV News outside of the courthouse, adding that he needs to take painkillers through the day.

Aujla's wife said she was pleased with the judge's decision to impose a sentence higher than what the Crown asked for, but Aujla said his family doesn't believe the punishment is enough.

"I think the sentence should be more. (It) should be like five years, seven years," he said.

Defence lawyer Sarah Leamon said the sentence is outside the usual accepted range, calling it an "appealable decision," but said her client has yet to instruct her on whether he wants to appeal.

Leamon said she believed the judge's decision was made with the "hope of deterring people who were possibly considering drinking and driving."

In Malloy's case, Leamon said he has made a commitment to abstain from alcohol at all times. The court heard in October that Malloy has been an alcoholic since the age of 17, but he said he hasn't had a drink since the crash.

"I think the possibility of reoffending, when you take the substance abuse issue out of it, is minimal to non-existent," Leamon said.

"He is very, very sorry for what happened."

Source: CTV News



Last updated on: 2016-12-22 | Link to this post