Great Moments in Canadian Sentencing, Part I

With apologies to the incomparable Bob Tarantino.

In June, 26-year-old Darcy Bannert was convicted of sexual assault and forcible confinement.  He had tortured and abused his former girlfriend’s 4-year-old daughter—in the words of CBC News, handcuffed the child to pieces of furniture, denied her water and sexually assaulted her at bathtime.

A social worker read a victim impact statement to the court.  Despite living in a foster home, away from abusive influences, the now six-year-old child is so traumatized she cannot learn or form normal emotional relationships and is on medication for PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndrome).

The judge was not impressed with Mr. Bannert, according to the CBC.

In Court of Queen’s Bench on Wednesday, the judge said Bannert’s sentence needs to send a message that people who commit these types of crimes against children will be dealt with harshly.

“This was not a momentary act or an angry outburst of a parent who loses control because a child has misbehaved,” Justice Darlene Acton said. “This was a systematic plan and an abusive, controlling pattern of behaviour.”

The Crown asked for twelve to fifteen years for this wretched and repulsive behaviour.

Justice Darlene Acton sentenced Bannert to eight years—commuted to five because of time served in pre-trial custody.

Yes, that sure sends a message.  Torture a kid and your judge will consider 1/3d of the Crown’s sentencing request to be sufficiently harsh punishment.  Way to throw the book at him.

Best of all, some folks out there will see this as Parliament’s fault for not taking away every last iota of judicial discretion and forcing Justice Acton (via statute) to award maximum sentence.  Because clearly it’s too much to expect common sense and sound reasoning from the Average Joe on the bench.

RELATED READING:  Gnotalex of the blog québécois has some cogent thoughts on the girl’s mother, who hardly has clean hands in this matter.

UPDATE:  Dawg’s Blawg adds to the depressing news with the revelation that this sterling specimen of Canadian manhood may be out on the streets in three short years.

Category: Miscellania
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One Response
  1. Dr.Dawg says:

    Don’t forget that, with time off for good behaviour, this creature could be out in three.
    More at my place.