Disconnect between accused and Indigenous heritage does not limit Glaude factors: BC Court of Appeal

Crown argued that accused's negative experiences were not connected to his Indigenous heritage

Disconnect between accused and Indigenous heritage does not limit Glaude factors: BC Court of Appeal
Disconnect from one’s Indigenous heritage does not limit applicability of Glaude factors, says court

The British Columbia Court of Appeal rejected the assertion that a disconnect between an Indigenous person from his heritage warranted a limited application of the Glaude factors in determining his sentence.

In 2018, David Johnathan Kehoe stabbed his victim without provocation. The victim was taken to the hospital and survived, with several surgeries. Kehoe was found guilty of aggravated assault and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.

At sentencing, the judge considered that Kehoe was Métis but found the nexus between his Aboriginal status and the offence was limited. The judge agreed with the Crown’s submissions that despite having a troubled childhood, none of these negative experiences were connected to his Indigenous heritage.

Kehoe sought leave to appeal his sentence. He argued that the judge failed to give the Glaude principles full effect.

The appellate court agreed.

Disconnection from Indigenous heritage does not limit the Glaude factors

In R. v. Kehoe, 2023 BCCA 2, the appellate court ruled that the trial judge erred ruling that Kehoe’s disconnection from his Métis heritage, culture, and community played a limited role in the case.

“As a consequence of Canada’s colonial history and assimilationist policies, many Indigenous people have become disconnected from their ancestral communities, cultures, and associated positive social structures. This disconnection has contributed to the social and economic marginalization of Indigenous people in Canada, including their disproportionate interactions with the criminal justice system,” said the court.

The position that Kehoe’s disconnect from his Indigenous culture warrants limitation of the Glaude factors “subverts the remedial purpose of s. 718.2(e) of the Code and penalizes Mr. Kehoe for the success of Canada’s destructive policies,” said the court.

In sentencing Kehoe afresh, the appellate court took no issue with the sentencing judge’s description of the seriousness of the offense. However, in applying the Glaude principles, the appellate court found Kehoe to have a significantly reduced level of moral blameworthiness due to his background and being raised in a dysfunctional environment.

Thus, the appellate court reduced Kehoe’s sentence to four years’ imprisonment.

Recent articles & video

Clifford Chance expands global energy and infrastructure practice

Great Hill clauses protecting privileged communications are growing in Canadian M&A contracts

Drew Network Asia expands to nine countries with addition of Bankgkok firm Tilleke & Gibbins

NS Supreme Court refuses to give parenting time to mother who tried to poison her son

Military veteran class action for disability payments a uniquely efficient process: lawyer

Sonali Sharma on unbundling and why lawyers need to shift from a scarcity to an abundance mindset

Most Read Articles

Ontario Superior Court of Justice denies use of estate funds for trustees' litigation costs

Trust account misuse among reasons BC lawyer faces discipline for professional misconduct

BC courts change rules to permit emailed document delivery

Ontario Superior Court finds Brampton doctor liable for negligence resulting in patient's death