Judge asked to rule mandatory sentence unconstitutional

NANAIMO - Jeffrey Ryan Oud, 38, convicted for a July 2012 shooting is expected to learn his fate June 9.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge will decide if a mandatory sentence for a Nanaimo man convicted in a July 2012 shooting is constitutional.

Jeffrey Ryan Oud, 38, was charged with mischief endangering life and unlawfully discharging a firearm at a house in downtown Nanaimo. Bert King, Oud’s legal counsel, said his client faces a mandatory sentence of four years.

Crown counsel is seeking five to seven years imprisonment and King is seeking a prison term of approximately two years.

At the time of the incident, Oud was a severe drug addict and went to the house to buy drugs. He was ripped off of his money and bluntly told to leave or he would be beaten. Thereafter, on all of the evidence, Oud fired a gun at the house, King said.

The bullet grazed the cheek of a person in the house but there were no other injuries, according to King.

He said his client is asking Judge Robin Baird to consider declaring the related section of the Criminal Code unconstitutional as it is harsh in this case, contrary to Section 12 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which states no one shall be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.

“Mandatory sentences take away from the court’s discretion to give, what may otherwise be, an appropriate sentence,” said King. “For Mr. Oud, he has no previous history of any violence, he was in the throes of a very serious addiction at the time and his conduct was unplanned, spur of the moment, which lasted about one minute.”

Oud must adhere to a number of bail conditions placed on him, including a curfew, prohibitions from consuming drugs or alcohol, and being in downtown Nanaimo, which he has in the three years for the case to conclude, said King.

Lesley Ruzicka and Basil McCormick, Crown counsellors, said they couldn’t comment as it was still before the court. The date for Baird to hand down his judgement is June 9.