Jun 06, 2013 - SENTENCE FOR RUNNING DOWN ELDERLY COUPLE IN D.D.O. CALLED way too low (Quebec case)

The relative of an elderly couple who were run down in Dollard des Ormeaux by a man who had taken medication, illegal drugs and consumed alcohol expressed frustration at the sentence rendered in the case Thursday.

“It’s too low — way too low,” said Ronald Wong after exiting the courtroom where Yvan Grandmaison, 42, was sentenced to the equivalent of a six-year prison term for killing Wong’s great aunt, Ngnan Wong Lee, 73, and seriously injuring Shui Poon Hui. Wong said he felt six years was too small a punishment for a crime that resulted in death.

When asked how the couple’s other relatives might feel about Quebec Court Judge Marie-Josée Di Lallo’s decision, Wong responded with a blunt: “We’re glad it’s over.”

In her decision, Di Lallo referred to arguments from both sides. Crown prosecutor Dennis Galiatsatos had requested a sentence of nine years, while defence lawyer Alexandre Paradis requested a four-year prison term. Both had suggested Grandmaison not be allowed to have a driver’s licence for five years after the sentence expires. Di Lallo agreed with that recommendation.

“The sentence should be dissuasive,” Di Lallo said while noting that when someone drives after consuming alcohol or drugs, “they become dangerous to society and it becomes a crime.”

But the judge also noted that Grandmaison has expressed what she considers sincere remorse and he claims to have been sober since May 2012, three months after he was arrested following the Feb. 21, 2012, collision. Other mitigating factors, Di Lallo said, were that Grandmaison called 911 after striking the couple with his car and that he assisted the police while they investigated him.

Lee died instantly in the collision while her husband Hui, 72, was left with a serious head injury that still affects him today. He is awaiting a fourth operation since the collision and has difficulty understanding things. Di Lallo was told during sentencing arguments last week that, when lucid, Hui asks relatives where his wife is, but he likely wouldn’t comprehend what happened to her if they told him.

In March, Grandmaison was found guilty of impaired driving causing death and impaired driving causing bodily harm.

In the hours before the collision, Grandmaison consumed at least five beers, a small amount of cocaine and took two powerful sleeping pills that had been prescribed to him for the first time that day. He ignored a doctor’s advice, and a warning on the pill bottle, and popped the powerful sleeping pills before deciding to drive to a convenience store to get beer and lottery tickets. He could have walked to a nearby convenience store but chose instead to drive to one further away because they carried his favourite brand of beer.

Just before Di Lallo delivered her sentence Thursday, it appeared there was a chance her decision would be postponed. But Paradis insisted Grandmaison be sentenced Thursday afternoon because inmates back at his detention centre were harassing him. As was revealed last week during sentencing arguments, Grandmaison accumulated $1,800 in drug debts from another inmate before he decided to sober up in May 2012. Paradis said he wanted to make sure Grandmaison was taken to a federal penitentiary, or at least a different detention centre, after Di Lallo made her decision.

The couple’s son, Shu Ming Hui, told the court last week that his parents left China and moved to Canada in 1990. Lee had retired after working in manufacturing and Hui owned a newsstand in Chinatown when they were they were struck by Grandmaison’s car. The couple had known each other for 60 years and had two children and five grandchildren.

Source: The Montreal Gazette



Last updated on: 2013-06-11 | Link to this post