Tyler Desmond Fong, 33, was sentenced to eight and a half years for 20 charges, including those related to a 14-km car chase in May 2015. (News Bulletin file)

Fong sentenced in Nanaimo provincial court

Tyler Desmond Fong receives eight-and-a-half-year sentence

A Ladysmith man who led police on a 14-kilometre chase two years ago has been sentenced to eight and a half years in prison.

Tyler Desmond Fong, 33, who was sentenced Thursday in Nanaimo provincial court, will be credited with time served and will spend another five years behind bars.

Fong faced 20 charges including ones related to the May 2015 car chase, where Fong drove his vehicle into police cruisers at University Village Mall in Nanaimo before taking off.

He was eventually arrested near the Duke Point overpass, but only after driving over an RCMP spike strip, attempting to carjack four vehicles and jumping into Nanaimo River.

Fong also escaped custody in October 2015 while at Victoria General Hospital receiving treatment for wounds suffered in jail. He eluded guards after going to the washroom, and stole a vehicle.

He was caught with marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin while incarcerated at Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre, following a raid on his cell last July.

Fong was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, something that Judge Ronald Lamperson discussed when handing down the sentence.

One of the mitigating factors, Lamperson noted, was Fong had a difficult upbringing and, citing diagnosis from forensic psychologist Dr. Jeanette Smith, suffers from severe ADHD and drug addiction. While the two weren’t an excuse for his offences, it helped explain his behaviour, said Lamperson.

The Crown had sought 10 years and Carlie Cromlish, Crown counsel, said Lamperson’s decision reflects the seriousness of the offences and risk to the public.

“I think the judge is in the best position to make that decision and I think he made a decision that reflects what’s appropriate in the circumstances,” said Cromlish.

Fong was also given a lifetime firearms ban and will be subject to a three-year driving ban, commencing after he serves his sentence.

-with files from Mike Gregory