Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Three cheers for common sense

  • Print
Finally, a "good news" story from a Canadian courtroom.Quebec Superior Court Judge Richard Mongeau has done the right thing this week and overturned a truly ludicrous lower court decision which would have seen a 18-year-old motorist stand trial in youth court for the death of a three-year-old girl -- even though he was legally an adult at the time of the incident.You read that right. An no, it doesn't make any sense.It was earlier this year that Quebec Court Judge Odette Perron came down with the bizarre ruling, which stemmed from an Oct. 31, 2007 incident that left Bianca Leduc dead.The motorist - who happened to be celebrating his 18th birthday that very day - is accused of driving on to the front lawn of a home daycare and running over the little girl while she was putting up Halloween decorations.He was charged with causing death by criminal negligence and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.The charges filed by the Crown referred to the tragic incident as occurring "on or about" Oct. 31 - a frequent legal term used in court documents.Amazingly, Perron ruled that "on or about" could mean the day of Oct. 31, the day before or the day after.She then claimed she had no choice but to give the 18-year-old the benefit of the doubt and send his case to youth court - even though everyone knew the crash happened on Oct. 31.Is it any wonder the Canadian public have so little faith in the justice system?The Crown appealed the ruling and got the decision overturned in the higher court this week.The young man now faces a maximum jail term of 14 years if convicted. While there's no chance he gets anywhere close to the max, a real jail sentence is a strong possibility. As a youth, he'd likely be looking at probation.His name still can't be published because his lawyer has 30 days to decide whether to challenge the ruling before the Quebec Court of Appeal.If that happens, let's hope that the common sense displayed this week by Judge Mongeau is contagious.www.mikeoncrime.com

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

About Mike McIntyre

Journalist, national radio show host, author, pundit and cruise director ... Mike McIntyre loves to keep busy.

Mike is the justice reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press, where he has worked since 1997. He produces and hosts the weekly talk radio show Crime and Punishment, which runs on the Corus Radio Network in several Canadian cities.

Born and bred in Winnipeg, Mike graduated from River East Collegiate and completed his journalism studies in the Creative Communications program at Red River College.

He and his wife, Chassity, have two children.

Twitter

Ads by Google