Impaired driver spared mandatory minimum sentence after police abuse



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A 72-year-old man who was grounded by an Ottawa police officer so forcefully that his dentures were broken was spared the mandatory minimum sentence Thursday for impaired driving after judge ruled that the excessive force used by police warranted a lighter sentence.

Cyril Smith was granted a conditional discharge that could enable him to avoid a criminal record after he was aggressively pulled from his car by Const. Damian Gerlich during a traffic stop on Highway 417 on March 21, 2013. The traffic stop came after the officer observed Smith merge onto the highway without using a turn signal, weave between the lane markings and nearly hit the median, all while going about 120 km/h.

Ontario Court Justice Jacqueline Loignon didn’t believe the officer’s claims that Smith was resisting arrest and that the face first fall to the ground was an accident, concluding instead that the officer overreacted when he used the deliberate and unnecessary force. The treatment by police resulted in two teeth on Smith’s dental plate being broken, a real tooth being damaged seriously enough that it needed to be extracted, and in scrapes on Smith’s nose, cheek and forehead, court heard.

“The unnecessary use of force by a police officer will always be serious. In a case such as this where a 72-year-old man is forcibly and precipitously removed from a vehicle, suffering significant physical and psychological injury, limiting the ability to recall events that follow, society’s sense of fair play and decency are offended such that the integrity of the justice system is harmed,” said Loignon.

As a result, Loignon tossed out breath readings that showed Smith had a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit because of the breach of his Charter rights by police.

Smith had asked her to stay the charge of impaired driving, but Loignon declined. She concluded that such a remedy would be an “unjustified windfall” to Smith, given that the police abuse was an isolated, one-time overreaction by police. She also said Smith’s driving put the community at risk and that impaired drivers kill Canadians every day. Smith had testified he had several drinks prior to driving.

Loignon instead gave Smith a 12-month conditional discharge with conditions that he report to probation, complete and pay for the Ministry of Transportation’s Back on Track program, and not drive with any alcohol in his system for the next year. If Smith follows the conditions, he won’t have a criminal record.

The minimum sentence for impaired driving is a $1,000 fine and 12-month driving prohibition.

Loignon said the conduct Smith was subjected to and the price he had already paid warranted the significant reduction in the sentence.

Smith’s lawyer, James Foord, said his client was disappointed the charge wasn’t stayed entirely but was pleased that the officer was held to account for his conduct.




Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre

This is not just a case of excessive use of force, its "Elder Abuse" and abuse of power by a person in authority who believed, he could get away with it.

Const. Damian Gerlich had that "genuine belief" that he could get away with it because he is a Member of Ottawa's Fascist Police Force who include a large number of psychopaths who believe they are above the law and have the power of god.

Const. Damian Gerlich is not alone, the Ottawa Police specifically recruits those who are viewed as following the "old school" line of policing, where the means justifies the end, and any means is justifiable when you know that a Corrupt Judiciary is going to see it your way most of the time.

On this occasion, a judge made an unusual move in criticizing the behavior of this officer but that is NOT the case most of time when most of judges turn a blind eye and are nothing more than Rubber Stamps for abuse of power by authorities and that makes Canada a corrupt third world country that rivals the Third Reich when we have black shirts and fascists operating with impunity funded with billions of dollars by an equally corrupt provincial government that is hell bent on Financial and Societal destruction.

Ottawa Residents should take note of the names like Det. Peter Van Der Zander who fabricates evidence NOT to charge the most violent of female offenders and corrupt Crown Attorneys like
TARA DOBEC who is highhandedly costing Ontario Billions of dollars in her goal of Gender Superiority applied to Criminal Law which means, she prosecutes male victims of domestic violence and STAY's charges against her criminal associates like
Ottawa Lawyers

Robie Stewart LOOMER,
Marguerite Isobel LEWIS and
Tracey Engleheart,

just to name three of Ottawa's most notorious Child Abusing Criminals protected by a Corrupt Crown Attorney.