Disgraced former Mountie Benjamin (Monty) Robinson has been given a 12-month conditional sentence for obstruction of justice relating to a fatal collision with a motorcycle in Delta, B.C., in 2008.
The sentence means Robinson, 42, will not serve any time in jail. He will have to spend one month under house arrest and the rest of the time he will be under the supervision of a probation officer and subject to a curfew at night.
Justice Janice Dillon also ordered Robinson to write an apology to the family of Orion Hutchinson, who was killed in the crash, and pay a $1,000 fine to Victim Services.
At the sentencing hearing, Robinson never apologized or expressed remorse for leaving Hutchinson dead or dying on the road while he went home to drink.
But Dillon also noted that when she handed down the sentence she had to consider the fact Robinson was a first time offender, an alcoholic and an aboriginal man.
Mother upset by sentence
Outside the court, Hutchinson’s mother Judith dismissed the ordered apology letter as “less than nothing” and denounced the sentence as no more than the sort of punishment a child might get for bad behaviour.
“That sentence just felt like he was just being grounded,” said Hutchinson. “It doesn’t feel like a sentence to me.”
Orion Hutchinson, 21, was killed in the collision between his motorcycle and the Jeep driven by Robinson in Delta, B.C. (RCMP)
Hutchinson said the family was hoping Robinson would be sentenced to time in jail
“We are not out for blood. We just wanted some kind of justice…This is very disappointing. It has been four years to come to this.”
Adele Tompkins, the executive director of the B.C. Coalition of Motorcyclists, also expressed concern with the sentence.
“I was hoping that six months in jail might be real nice sentence for him … the general public will be disappointed and motorcyclists will be horrified,” said Tomkins.
Robinson went home to drink
Robinson was found guilty after admitting he rushed home and drank two shots of vodka after his Jeep collided with the motorcycle of Hutchinson at an intersection. He then returned to the scene of the crash and admitted to what he had done.
The judge found Robinson had used his RCMP training to hide the fact that he had consumed five beers at a party just before the crash and then lied to Delta police officers at the scene about how much he had been drinking at the party.
An investigation by the B.C. Coroners Service concluded Hutchinson, who died at the scene, was also drinking alcohol before the crash and that the actions of both men contributed to the crash.
A coroner’s report concluded the actions of both men contributed to the crash that killed Hutchinson in 2008. (CBC)
The maximum penalty for obstruction of justice is 10 years, but the Crown was seeking three to nine months in jail or a conditional sentence of 12 to 18 months. The defence had asked for a conditional sentence of three to six months with no jail time.
Robinson is also facing a charge of perjury in connection with the death of Robert Dziekanski. The Polish visitor died after officers used a Taser on him at the Vancouver airport. Robinson quit the RCMP just before his sentencing hearing last week.