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Appeal Court Dicta

Criminal - Sentencing - CCC s.718

. R. v. Saini

In R. v. Saini (Ont CA, 2023) the Court of Appeal considered the statutory factors for criminal sentencing in CCC s.718:
[25] The sentencing judge referred to the principles relevant to sentencing set out in s. 718 of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46. The trial judge considered the mitigating factors such as the fact that the appellant was a 76-year-old first-time offender at the time of trial, with strong family support, no prior driving record who suffered from chronic renal disease and sleep apnea. He noted that the correctional authorities are able to address those medical issues.

[26] He also noted that the law requires that sentences not exceed the lifetime of an individual.

[27] However, the trial judge also appreciated the importance of denunciation and deterrence as four people died, including two children, and nine others suffered life-changing injuries. He found that the appellant did not take responsibility for his actions and appeared to have “no sincere appreciation of how his driving continues to pose a very serious harm to others.” As such, although neither party raised specific deterrence as an issue on sentence, the trial judge was entitled to and did consider the need for specific deterrence.

[28] The sentence was well within the range for similar offences committed in similar circumstances: see, e.g., R. v. Regier, 2011 ONCA 557, 282 O.A.C. 392; R. v. Bhangal, 2016 ONCA 857.

[29] In short, the sentencing judge considered the factors set out in s. 718 of the Criminal Code, the aggravating and mitigating factors in this case, and imposed a sentence that was not demonstrably unfit. Significant deference is owed on sentencing: R. v. Friesen, 2020 SCC 9, [2020] 1 S.C.R. 424, at paras. 25-26; R. v. R.A., 2021 ONCA 126, 154 O.R. (3d) 552, at paras. 30-32.


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