Shorter sentence to prevent refugee's deportation struck down by appeal court

The Manitoba Court of Appeal has ruled a sentencing judge handed down a reduced sentence to prevent the deportation of a refugee.

Sentencing judge acknowledged longer term might result in deportation

The Manitoba Court of Appeal has ruled a sentencing judge handed down a reduced sentence to prevent the deportation of a refugee. (CBC News )

The Manitoba Court of Appeal has overturned a reduced sentence handed down by a Manitoba judge to prevent the deportation of a convicted refugee.

In its Oct. 31 decision, the court looked at "the extent to which a sentencing judge can craft a sentence in order to avoid collateral immigration consequences."

Mustaf Ahmed Yare, 23, pleaded guilty to four charges after ramming a police car and then leading police on a chase before crashing into a sign post in September 2017.

The decision states that Yare threatened officers while he was being taken to the police station by saying: "I'm going to get my gang and I'm going to find you and kill you. I'm a real gangster and you will die. Trust me, you fucking goofs."

The Crown sought a sentence of 18 to 19 months in jail, but ultimately the judge imposed a sentence of five months and 25 days of incarceration.

During the sentencing the judge concluded Yare "ought to be jailed for about a year for these charges," according to the Court of Appeal's decision.

Yare is a permanent resident of Canada, therefore subject to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which requires a punishment of at least six months in connection with a serious crime.

The sentencing judge acknowledged that a term greater than six months might result in deportation.

The panel of three appeal court justices said in their view an artificial sentence had been imposed. They imposed a sentence totalling 13 months and 10 days incarceration, which had been served prior to the appeal.

Yare was arrested after his release and has a court appearance in the new year. He is charged with five offences including assault with a weapon and uttering threats.