Crown will not be appealing the one-year conditional sentence handed down to former RCMP Cpl. Benjamin “Monty” Robinson, convicted of obstruction of justice last month for a 2008 drunk-driving fatality.
In a statement released last Friday (Aug. 24), Crown said it could not “identify an error of law that would justify intervention by an appeal court.”
The statement also said that while Crown had asked for a prison term of between three and nine months, the conditional sentence of 12 to 18 months was legally available. Robinson received house arrest in addition to his sentence, which expires Aug. 28.
As well, an appeal court would likely defer to the original findings of the sentencing judge, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Janice Dillon.
“A court hearing an appeal cannot substitute its opinion for that of the trial judge simply because it might have taken a different approach,” the statement read.
Robinson had been facing a possible 10-year sentence, but in a controversial ruling by Dillon, received leniency because of his aboriginal status. The Canadian Criminal Code specifically directs judges to pay “particular attention to the circumstances of aboriginal offenders” during sentencing.
In October of 2008, the off-duty RCMP corporal was leaving a party in Richmond after drinking five beers, when his SUV collided with 21-year-old motorcyclist Orion Hutchinson from Tsawwassen, who died at the scene.
Robinson left the accident scene and returned later after reportedly consuming two shots of vodka, which he said was to calm his nerves.
Dillon ruled Robinson drank the vodka purposely to prevent a breathalyzer from accurately measuring his blood alcohol level.
Robinson faces further criminal charges next April, when he goes before a judge for perjury during an inquest into the 2007 death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski, who died at Vancouver International Airport during an altercation with Robinson and three other RCMP officers.