Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Supreme Court Cuts Jail Time for Edmonton Man in Patio Crash That Killed Toddler

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Supreme Court Cuts Jail Time for Edmonton Man in Patio Crash That Killed Toddler

Article excerpt

High court cuts jail time for patio crash

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OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada has reduced the sentence of a man who drove his car into a restaurant patio, killing a two-year-old boy, and who months later was beaten and mutilated by an assailant.

The high court has lowered Richard Suter's sentence to the 10 months he has already served. His 30-month driving ban was upheld.

The ruling shows that vigilante justice against a guilty man should be taken into account in sentencing, says Suter's lawyer.

"They're basically saying that being the target of vigilante justice that emanates from the offence you've committed must be taken into account," Dino Bottos said Friday. "The Supreme Court made new law today."

Sage Morin, the boy's mother, was not immediately available for comment.

Suter, a 62-year-old retired businessman, had been arguing with his wife while parking his vehicle in front of a Ric's Grill in southwest Edmonton in May 2013 when he mistakenly hit the gas instead of the brake. Two-year-old Geo Mounsef was having dinner with his parents and baby brother when the SUV pinned him against a wall.

Suter pleaded guilty to failing to provide a breath sample in a death.

Suter testified at his sentencing hearing that he had had three drinks over four hours before the crash, but wasn't drunk. The judge agreed that Suter wasn't impaired and that he was given bad legal advice to refuse a breathalyzer test.

He was initially sentenced to four months in jail along with a 30-month driving suspension. The Alberta Court of Appeal raised the sentence to 26 months.

Some months after the crash, Suter was pulled from his SUV and beaten. Months after that, while waiting for his trial, he was abducted from his home by three masked men and his thumb was cut off.

The Supreme Court found that both lower courts erred in sentencing. …

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