Case Study: R. V. Sidhu, 2019 SKPC 19 (CanLII)

Case Study: R. V. Sidhu, 2019 SKPC 19 (CanLII)

  1. The offenses the accused pled guilty to are absolute liability offenses


  1. The offenses the accused pled guilty to are strict liability offenses

ANSWER: False.

  1. An important issue addressed by the court, in this case, was whether the chain of causation was broken by improper medical treatment.


  1. In considering the Victim Impact Statements, the court held that in this particular case, it was appropriate to give significant weight to the recommendations for sentence length expressed by the victims of this horrific event.


  1. Which of the following forms of mens rea or tests for mens rea is NOT relevant to these offenses:


  1. modified objective liability


  1. recklessness


  1. a marked departure from the standard of a reasonably prudent driver


  1. all of the above


  1. none of the above.



ANSWER: e) none of the above.


  1. When determining the appropriateness of the sentence, which of the following factors did the court consider to be mitigating factors?


  1. The accused’s remorse and guilty plea


  1. The fact that some victims were able to forgive the accused for the offenses


  1. The accused was a trained, professional driver who was working at the time of the collision.


  1. Although the accused was driving with excessive speed, he was not speeding beyond the speed limit.


  1. All of the above



ANSWER: a) The accused’s remorse and guilty plea.


  1. List the two sentencing principles under section 718 of the Criminal Code that the court applied in this case:
  2. The principle of proportionality
  3. a sentence should be increased or reduced to account for any relevant aggravating or mitigating circumstances relating to the offense or the offender


  1. The court discussed “concurrent sentences” and “consecutive sentences.” What is the difference between these two types of sentences, and which one did the court impose?

In concurrent sentencing, defendants serve all the sentences at the same time while in consecutive sentencing the defendant serves a sentence for one offense before going to the other. In this case, the court imposed a concurrent sentence to Mr. Sidhu since all his offenses came from similar circumstances.

  1. Restorative Justice Case Note

Restorative justice aims at repairing the harm caused by criminal behavior. In this case, the court imposed a sentence of incarceration to Mr. Sidhu. Incarceration refers to total confinement of an offender in prison for a specified time. Therefore, Mr. Sidhu was sentenced TO spend eight years in prison. Since he was only thirty years and married, the incarceration could greatly disintegrate his family. As such, an alternative sentence to incarceration could have been fair how. Besides, Mr. Sidhu had accepted the crime he had committed, and his remorseful state confirmed that he worse indeed affected by the loss he had caused through the accident. More so, Mr. Sidhu was not under the influence of any drug or other triggers of carelessness. Thus, the accident might have occurred due to fate.

However, I disagree with the decision that a lesser sentence should be imposed on Mr. Sidhu instead of incarceration for eight years. According to the principles of restorative justice, harm caused by crime should be repaired. However, the crime, in this case, was more severe than the harm awaiting Mr. Sidhu. Therefore, the sentence of incarceration is fair in comparison to the deaths and injuries he had caused. Another principle of restorative justice states that people most affected by the crime should participate in the crime. However, some of the affected people in the accident refused to present Victim Impact Statements, meaning that they may not appear during the resolution.

Furthermore, the court had enough reasons to sentence Mr. Sidhu for with incarceration. Firstly, the accident was avoidable since he came across road signs before reaching the intersection. This was as well confirmed by the forensic accident report. Secondly, the case was classified into absolute liability offenses since the impact of the crime was severe. Thus, the court had to proceed to sentence the offender based on the documented charges against causing accidents due to careless driving. Considering that Mr. Sidhu had a clear insight into what was in front of him, the court passed that he could have avoided the collision by driving cautiously. As an experienced driver, missing all the markers on the road was questionable (p. 31). Thus, Mr. Sidhu does not deserve a restorative justice session. Instead, he should serve the sentence of incarceration since it meets the crime he had committed.