The family of a Surrey couple killed in a hit-and-run crash in 2008 is concerned the convicted driver, who is scheduled to be released from prison today (Nov. 13), may still be a risk to the public.
Ravinder Singh Binning pled guilty and was sentenced in 2012 to four-and-a-half years in jail (reduced to four with credit for time served) for the crash that killed Dilbag Badh, 61, and his 60-year-old wife Bakhshish Badh, as well as severely injuring their two daughters.
Binning has now been granted statutory release after serving two-thirds of his sentence.
Statutory release is automatically granted to most offenders after they’ve served two-thirds of their sentence, unless it is recommended by the Correctional Service of Canada that they be detained longer.
In July 2008, four members of the Badh family were driving home from an engagement celebration when Binning, speeding down 128 Street near 85 Avenue in Surrey, slammed into the back of the Badh’s vehicle.
Dilbag and Bakhshish were killed instantly, while daughters Varinder and Rupi were seriously hurt. Binning fled the scene without calling 911 or providing any assistance.
He was not arrested and charged until June 2010, and did not plead guilty until his trial was to begin in February 2012.
Varinder Badh, one of the deceased couple’s daughters who was injured in the crash, is concerned Binning – who had a total of 16 driving prohibitions between 2002 and 2009, many of them alcohol-related – has not been rehabilitated while in prison.
During Binning’s sentencing, the court heard he was involved in a separate incident on the same stretch of road where the Badhs were killed, months after the fatal crash. In that one, he was caught driving drunk and fled, subsequently crashing into a fence and fighting with police before being arrested.
“Our family’s concern is public safety,” said Varinder. “We question how the statutory release should be mandatory rather than assessing each case independently. We aren’t sure if Binning has received the help he needs to address his substance abuse issues and if this is the case, shouldn’t this be a concern?”
In August 2013, the Parole Board denied day and full parole to Binning, saying he lacked insight into his crime and still remained a risk to re-offend.
Varinder, who recently completed her PhD dissertation on the language used in describing vehicular crimes, says Binning’s release this week only adds to her family’s ongoing trauma.
“It resurfaces a lot of pain and heartache, but regardless of the length of sentence, this will never reverse the outcome,” she said. “And the heartache has and will reside with us for a lifetime.”
If made to serve his full sentence, Binning would have remained in prison until March next year
He is still subject to a 10-year driving ban, about six-and-a-half years of which remain. His release will also be subject to a number of conditions.