October 16, 2013 - 12:20 PM
'HE SHOULD HAVE SERVED A LIFE-TIME"
KAMLOOPS - A judge emphasized rehabilitation today while sentencing the man who killed a 64-year-old Kamloops Indian Band elder last year while drinking and driving.
Family members expressed shock outside the courtroom after sentencing.
"I can't see him being rehabilitated," said one of the victim's daughters, Veronica Seymour. "He took a life, he should have served a life-time."
Robert Bill, 32, was sentenced to two years in prison for impaired driving causing death. B.C. Supreme Court Justice Dev Dley gave Bill the maximum jail time along with a probation order as per the Criminal Code of Canada. He sentenced Bill to the maximum probation possible — three years — for rehabilitation.
"A jail sentence that is too long and crushing to the offender can serve no useful purpose," Dley said.
Bill struck and killed David Seymour on July 20, 2012 while he was walking on Shuswap Road. Bill was on a drinking binge, grieving the death of a friend — also one of the victim's relatives — who was stabbed to death days before. Torbin Alec, charged with murder, awaits trial at the end of the month.
Bill turned himself into police and pleaded guilty to multiple charges after the crash. After living on the Kamloops Indian Band reserve since 1992, he has been banished from the lands for his crimes. Dley said Bill has been sober since the incident and has shown remorse. He said in Bill's case, rehabilitation is a 'reasonable goal.'
Crown prosecutor Chris Balison asked for two and a half years in prison, while defence lawyer Sheldon Tate asked for two years in jail along with probation.
"A combination of jail and probation would satisfy denunciation and deterrence," Dley said.
Family members continue to grieve the death of their 'papa' and cultural keeper. Family friend and support Darrell Porter said checking into probation two times a month won't keep Bill on the straight and narrow and wants stricter probation laws.
"They just don't cut it."
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013