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Criminal - Sentencing - 'Jump Principle'

. R. v. Simeunovich

In R. v. Simeunovich (Ont CA, 2023) the Court of Appeal considered the 'jump principle' in criminal sentencing:
The jump principle

[22] In his reasons, the sentencing judge also considered the application of the jump principle, which stands for the proposition that a subsequent sentence imposed on an offender should not be disproportionate to sentences imposed for prior offences, provided the subsequent offence is not significantly more serious than the prior offence: R. v. Green, 2021 ONCA 932, at para. 11. The sentencing judge drew on caselaw that holds the jump principle has less relevance where rehabilitation is not a significant factor influencing sentence: R. v. Robitaille (1993), 1993 CanLII 2561 (BC CA), 31 B.C.A.C. 7, at para. 9. A similar point was made by this court in Green where it stated, at para. 12:
As noted by Rosenberg J.A. in [R. v. Borde (2003), 2003 CanLII 4187 (ON CA), 63 O.R. (3d) 417], at para. 39, the jump principle “has little application where the severity of the offender’s crimes shows a dramatic increase in violence and seriousness”. The same is true when dealing with multiple convictions for an offender with a lengthy criminal record, or where previous sanctions have been ineffective in deterring the offender. [Emphasis added.]
[23] In the present case, the sentencing judge properly proceeded on the basis that the jump principle had little application to sentencing the appellant. Numerous driving prohibition orders have not deterred the appellant from driving while disqualified. In its 2019 decision, this court described the appellant as a “serious serial recidivist of driving offences under the Criminal Code” and noted his “incorrigibility”: Simeunovich (ONCA), at paras. 2, 13. In his 2018 sentencing reasons, West J. characterized the appellant as “an incorrigible and uncontrollable offender”: Simeunovich (ONCJ), at para. 53. In those reasons, West J. also made these prescient comments, at para. 93:
[Mr. Simeunovich’s] actions demonstrated a wanton and reckless disregard for the lives and safety of others, putting his own interests above anyone else. Considering his criminal record for dangerous driving, failing to stop for police, failing to stop when he is involved in an accident and driving while he is prohibited, it is my belief that as soon as Mr. Simeunovich is released from custody he will continue to drive and he will put his own interests above anyone else, completely unconcerned about putting other members of the public at risk. [Emphasis added]
[24] And the appellant did precisely that, leading to his present convictions.

[25] Finally, I see no merit in the appellant’s submission that the jump principle narrowly confined the sentencing judge to measuring any permissible increase in sentence against only the last, highest conviction for the offence of driving while disqualified. A sentencing judge is entitled to take a more holistic view of the past and present conduct of the offender. This is evident from the remarks of this court in its 2019 decision involving the appellant, quoted above in para. 18. (See also R. v. Antaya, 2022 ONCA 819, where this court stated, at para. 19, in the context of an order imposed for breach of a conditional sentence, that the application of the jump principle would have to include a consideration of the circumstances of the offence for which the conditional sentence was originally imposed, and the circumstances of the breach of the conditional sentence order).


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Last modified: 29-08-23
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