R v Vandal, 2020 BCPC 11

The sentence imposed on the accused, who is of Indigenous heritage, must denounce and deter his and others conduct, as the many offences committed were serious.

Indigenous Law Centre
Indigenous CaseWatch Blog

The accused is a 46-year-old Indigenous male with a long-standing drug addiction and has in excess of forty convictions for break and enter and a total of sixty criminal convictions. The court has had the benefit of a Pre-Sentence Report (PSR), a Gladue Report, and to the offender’s credit, he has made repeated efforts to conquer his long standing drug addiction. In addition to accessing Indigenous programming in custody, the accused has established connections with Elders, regularly attends sweats, healing circles and weekly smudges. The Gladue Report summarized his childhood abuse, parental instability, early introduction to drug use and his alienation from his Indigenous background. In mitigation, it is significant that the offender pleaded guilty, which represents some expression of remorse.

However, there are many aggravating factors. His lengthy criminal convictions demonstrates that previous efforts to deter him have been unsuccessful, and his history does not support a finding that he is truly dedicated to his rehabilitation. As well, two of his offences were committed while bound by a recognizance. In the circumstances, the offences combined with his personal circumstances demands a sentence that denounces and deters. A sentence of six years less the time served will adequately denounce and deter while still being proportionate. The sentence imposed will provide an opportunity for the offender to continue with his culinary training while permitting him to engage with Indigenous programs.

 

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