Drunk driver's 2-year sentence reasonable, court rules
Yukon judge entitled to consider risk of deportation, says court of appeal
A drunk driver who killed a passenger in a rollover near Pelly Crossing, Yukon, in 2010 will not be sent back to jail.
The Yukon Court of Appeal has ruled Christopher Maxwell-Smith's two-year sentence was sufficient. This gives the U.K. citizen a chance to fight a deportation order.
Maxwell-Smith, 28, had been living in B.C., when three summers ago he was supervising a job in Pelly Crossing.
After a few drinks, he was driving the company van with five passengers when the vehicle rolled over, killing a co-worker.
He was convicted, and at sentencing advised the judge any term over two years would see him deported without appeal.
The sympathetic judge then crafted an innovative sentence. She ignored the year in jail Maxwell-Smith had spent pretrial, and sentenced him to two years less a day.
Yukon prosecutors argued the deportation issue inappropriately dominated the process but the court of appeal now says the judge was entitled to consider the deportation order as long as the sentence imposed was reasonable.
Maxwell-Smith was released on day parole this summer after serving just six months.
Immigration authorities still want him deported. He's appealing.