‘The judge is in a difficult situation’: Lawyer weighs in on Sidhu's possible sentence
Saskatoon criminal defence lawyer Brian Pfefferle speaks to CTV News March 21, 2019.
The legal system isn’t built to deal with case like the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, Saskatoon criminal defence lawyer Brian Pfefferle says.
The Crown prosecutor asked Justice Inez Cardinal to hand Jaskirat Singh Sidhu a 10-year prison sentence and a 10-year driving ban. She is scheduled to issue her decision Friday in Melfort.
“When we look at dangerous driving cases where they don’t involve impairment by drugs or alcohol, they don’t involve excessive speed or other actions like that and they don’t involve texting and driving or racing, we generally don’t see sentences that large,” Pfefferle told CTV News.
Sidhu, 30, pleaded guilty to 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm after his semi-truck crashed into the team’s bus on April 6th, 2018, killing 16 people and injuring 13 others.
According to an agreed statement of facts, Sidhu drove through the stop sign at the intersection of Highway 335 and 35 and didn’t try to stop.
Cardinal will have to consider many factors: Sidhu’s guilty plea, how he has no criminal record, his immigration status, and the large number of people affected by the crash, Pfefferle said.
Pfefferle said he was surprised by the Crown’s suggested sentence.
“A 10 year sentence is a sentence that arguably would be at the very high end of the range that [the Crown] is seeking, but the loss here is at the end of a range we've never seen before, so that’s what makes this case so difficult,” Brian Pfefferle, a Saskatoon criminal lawyer, told CTV News.
“The judge is in a difficult situation.”
Sidhu will likely serve his sentence in Saskatchewan and then be deported because he is not a Canadian citizen, Pfefferle said.