Mar 25, 2013 - APPEAL BACKFIRES FOR DRIVER CONVICTED IN 2007 FATAL CRASH


A driver who killed a Camrose man in a 2007 crash was handed a more severe sentence than one he’d previously appealed after the court discovered his horrible driving record was not submitted as evidence in his first trial.

Brian Martin, 56, sat down heavily, stared at his feet and sighed in the prisoner’s box as he was sentenced to 4-1/2 years in prison Monday afternoon.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Paul Gill called Martin “a danger to the public” for his decades of driving convictions that culminated in a death on June 29, 2007.

That day, Martin was driving north on Highway 21 south of Edmonton in his Chevrolet Silverado when he slammed into a turning Dodge Neon at the intersection of Highway 13. The impact sent both vehicles crashing into a light standard at the intersection.

The driver of the Neon, Richard Stollery, a 49-year-old father of two from Camrose, died at the scene. He’d been on his way home from work at the University of Alberta Hospital. Richard’s uncle was philanthropist Bob Stollery, the driving force behind the Stollery Children’s Hospital.

The subsequent investigation determined Martin was speeding.

In 2010, Martin was convicted of dangerous driving causing death and was given a two-year conditional sentence with no jail time. The court was unaware of his criminal record at the time. Martin, a father of three, successfully appealed that conviction and was granted a new trial. In November, he was again convicted of the same offence.

Before he was sentenced Monday, Crown prosecutor Gordon Hatch was given Martin’s driving record, which was absent from the previous proceedings. Court heard that Martin has 25 driving-related convictions dating back to the 1970s, including multiple incidents of impaired driving, driving while prohibited and speeding.

In 1991, Martin received 3-1/2 years in jail for a drunk-driving crash in which he left the scene.

Since Stollery’s death, Martin has been convicted of impaired driving and driving while disqualified in unrelated incidents.

Court also heard that, even though he was convicted twice, Martin believes the fatal crash was Stollery’s fault. Though he noted that Martin was remorseful, Gill was unimpressed with his lack of admission in the crime.

“This clearly demonstrates a lack of responsibility for his criminal behaviour and an attempt to minimize it,” Gill said. “It suggests he has little respect for the law and is a danger to the public. Mr. Martin has not learned from his past opportunities to rehabilitate.”

Hatch could not explain to the court how Martin’s driving record had been missed until after he was twice convicted of the crime.

“I certainly don’t have a good explanation, a comforting explanation, why the RCMP were unable to unearth the record,” he told court.

Upon his release from prison, Martin will be banned from driving for a decade.

Source: Edmonton Journal


 

Last updated on: 2013-03-30 | Link to this post