Toronto

York officer's 2007 death nets 50-month jail term

A Toronto man who struck and killed York Regional Police Det.-Const. Robert Plunkett with a car in 2007 has been sentenced to serve another 50 months in prison.

A Toronto man who struck and killed York Regional Police Det.-Const. Robert Plunkett with a car in 2007 has been sentenced to serve another 50 months in prison.

A judge in a Newmarket, Ont., court on Wednesday sentenced Nadeem Jiwa to 12 years in prison, but he was given two-for-one credit of seven years and two months for time spent in pre-trial detention, which means he only has to serve another four years and two months behind bars.

Recent police deaths involving vehicles  

  • Const. Garrett Styles, 32, of York Regional Police died of his injuries after being dragged and pinned under a vehicle during an early morning traffic stop on June 28, 2011.
  • Sgt. Ryan Russell, 35, of the Toronto police died after he was struck by a stolen truck equipped with a snowplow on Jan. 12, 2011.
  • Quebec provincial police Const. Sébastien Coghlan-Goyette, 25, and officer-in-training Sophie Rigas, 22, died of injuries suffered when their cruiser struck a deer and went out of control at Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Que., on Nov. 14, 2010. 
  • Const. Chelsey Alice Robinson, 25, of the RCMP's Stony Plain detachment in Alberta died after her cruiser was struck by a transport truck June 21, 2010.
  • Const. Artem (James) Ochakovsky, 36, of Peel Regional Police in Ontario died of his injuries after his cruiser hit a lamppost after a collision March 2, 2010.
  • Const. Melanie Roy, 21, of the Lévis municipal police died in a traffic accident while responding to a call on Sept. 7, 2009.
  • Const. Alan Hack, 31, of the OPP's Elgin County detachment died when a transport truck hit his cruiser on July 6, 2009.
  • Const. James Lundblad, 41, of the RCMP's traffic services unit in Camrose, Alta., was killed when his vehicle collided with a grain truck on the highway on May 5, 2009.

Jiwa, 23, was convicted of manslaughter in April.

Plunkett was trying to arrest Jiwa on a residential street in Markham on Aug. 2, 2007, during an investigation into airbag thefts. Jiwa reversed the car and pinned Plunkett between a tree and the car's open door.

Plunkett died later in hospital.

Members of Jiwa's family were in the packed courtroom Wednesday, and his mother cried when she heard the sentence. Jiwa, meanwhile, turned and nodded at his family.

Plunkett's family also attended, along with York Region Police Chief Eric Jolliffe.

The sentence comes one day after another York police officer, Const. Garrett Styles, died in the line of duty. Styles was dragged approximately 300 metres and pinned under a vehicle during an early morning traffic stop north of Toronto.

Outside the courtroom, Plunket's wife Sonia urged anyone stopped by police to co-operate and not resist.

"The police deserve our respect, she said. "When asked to stop, you have to stop. Had [Jiwa] just listened and shown just a touch of respect, my husband and the father of my three children would still be here today."

The Crown had asked for a 12- to 14-year prison sentence for Jiwa, arguing that would reflect the level of community outrage at the death of an officer in the line of duty.

The defence argued a sentence of five to seven years would better reflect a crime that was unintentional.

Plunkett, a 22-year veteran of the force and a father of three, died in hospital of his injuries. He won awards for his bravery on the job, and was once named "toughest cop alive" at the Canadian Law Enforcement Games for his strength and athleticism.

With files from CBC's Stephanie Matteis

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