British Columbia

Crown challenges judge's rejection of mandatory-minimum sentence for gun offence

A B.C. judge's decision not to impose a mandatory-minimum sentence on a Nanaimo man who was convicted of the reckless use of a firearm will be appealed by Crown prosecutors.

Justice Robin Baird refused to impose the mandatory five-year sentence for a first offence

Canada's Criminal Code requires a five-year sentence for the discharging of a firearm with intent to wound, maim or disfigure, to endanger the life of or to prevent the arrest or detention of any person (J. F. Walker/Shutterstock)

A B.C. judge's decision not to impose a mandatory-minimum sentence on a Nanaimo man who was convicted of the reckless use of a firearm will be appealed by Crown prosecutors.

The Criminal Justice Branch announced Wednesday it is appealing the sentence given to Jeffrey Oud, who was convicted for discharging a rifle at a house, grazing one person and narrowly missing others inside.

The Crown had originally asked for a five- to seven-year prison term, but Justice Robin Baird refused to impose the mandatory five-year sentence for a first offence, ruling it was "grossly disproportionate" and violated the man's charter rights.

Instead Baird ruled there was no justification under the constitution for such a long term, and sentenced Oud to four years.

Baird said in his ruling that the prison term was adequate for a first-time offence for a man who had a solid work history, a good family and who has sworn off drugs and stayed clean.

The branch said in a news release that there were errors in the judgment and the public interest requires an appeal.

It said the judge didn't sufficiently consider the principles of denunciation and deterrence and failed to impose a term that was proportionate to the gravity of the offence.

In April the Supreme Court of Canada stuck down a similar three-year mandatory minimum sentence for possessing a loaded prohibited gun, ruling it was unconstitutional.

With files from the Canadian Press

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.