Miguel Oliveira to serve 15 weekends in jail for hit-and-run that killed cyclist Tom Samson

A Toronto man was sentenced Tuesday to a six-month jail term in connection with a crash that killed Tom Samson, a Grade 2 teacher and father of two who was riding his bike to work.

Swansea elementary-school teacher was killed riding his bike near Lansdowne & Davenport

Gita Samson shares her grief following sentencing

6 years ago
Duration 0:50
Gita Samson choked back tears as she told reporters of the impact of the death of her son, Tom, after the sentencing of the man who fatally ran him down.

The family of a Toronto cyclist killed in a hit-and-run is calling for mandatory minimum jail terms after the driver was handed a sentence that could see him freed after spending just 15 weekends in jail.

Miguel Oliveira had pleaded guilty last May to leaving the scene of an accident causing death, in connection with the collision that killed cyclist Tom Samson, a father of two. The court heard that Oliveira hit Samson, kept driving, and went to work, and only turned himself in to police the next day after consulting a lawyer. 

Oliveira was given a six-month jail sentence on Tuesday by Superior Court Justice Faye McWatt and was banned from driving for two years. But he was given credit for being under house arrest in the time leading up to his guilty plea and will serve the remainder of his sentence on weekends. 

Defence lawyer Calvin Barry told reporters outside the courthouse Oliveira will likely be free on probation after serving 15 weekends. 

Miguel Oliveira, 25, was given a six-month jail sentence for failing to remain on the scene of a crash that killed Toronto cyclist Tom Samson in November 2012. He was given credit for time served under house arrest and will serve the remainder of his sentence on weekends. (CBC)

Samson was a popular Grade 2 teacher at Swansea Public school. The 35-year-old father of two was killed while riding his bike on Davenport Road at Lansdowne Avenue in November 2012.

His mother Gita Samson choked back tears as she told reporters of the impact of their son's death. "It broke us. He was an amazing son and an amazing husband and father. The children and (his wife) Kasia miss him so much." 

Father Uri Samson told reporters he is "frustrated that the Criminal Code of Canada sets so little price on the life of a person who is killed in a hit and run accident." 

He said minimum mandatory sentences would send a message that failing to remain at the scene of an accident causing death is "a repugnant act."

Tom Samson, a Grade 2 teacher at Swansea Public School, was killed in November 2012 when the bike he was riding was struck by two vans. (Swansea Public School)

Samson said Oliveira "will soon be on the road again without having learned that life is sacred, without comprehending the tragedy that he has caused our family." 

Barry called the weekends-only sentence for Oliveira "fit and just."

"That allows him to reintegrate into society, keep his job, keep his family," the defence lawyer said, describing 25-year-old Oliveira as "a hard-working member of the community."

Uri and Gita Samson hold a photo of their son Tom, killed while cycling in a hit-and-run in Toronto in November 2012. (Martin Trainor/CBC)

Sentences served on weekends involve going to jail on a Friday evening and being released on Monday morning, giving credit for four days served each weekend. 

With credit for time served under house arrest, Oliveira has 90 days of jail time remaining in his sentence 

He could be free on probation after serving two-thirds of that. That works out to 15 weekends. 


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