To the editor,
Time and oversight matter in judicial cases involving death and injury.
After reading the story pertaining to the tragic and avoidable motor vehicle death of Shinder Kirk, I felt compelled to make comment, including the acknowledgement of the injuries and other unfathomable trauma the family has suffered. While I almost completely agree with the arguments presented by the judge, it is often the unspoken or forgotten or ignored issues that outrage the public and offend the victims.
The accident occurred in December 2018. As there were no criminal charges, only the non-criminal offence of the motor vehicle act charge, the resulting burden of proof and the depth of investigation was certainly far less complicated. Yet the trial was not held until May 2021, with a sentencing in June of 2021. Now also consider the offender’s deplorable speeding offences that took place in the spring of 2019, just months after the accident. We know the Crown didn’t think the case was worthy of a criminal charge. So why did it take two and a half years to hear this charge if it was a straightforward case? The summer of 2019 would have been an appropriate court date. And at that time the judge could have dropped the gavel hard on the accumulation of infractions. It also appears there was reasonable cause to suspend his licence in the spring of 2019, given the upcoming court case for driving without due care.
One is left with the conclusion that the offender got off easy due to court delays or lack of provincial oversight but this was not addressed by the court nor mentioned in the article if it indeed did come up.
My condolences to the family.
David Fairbairn, Nanaimo
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