Her Majesty the Queen v. Mathieu Coderre, 2022 ONSC 528
In the Ontario Supreme Court of Justice case of R. v. Coderre, the appellant pled guilty to mischief under $5,000. The complainant had parked in an underground parking garage and left her car’s rear several feet out of the spot. The appellant had the parking spot next to the complainant’s and vandalized her car. All four of the complainant’s tires were slashed, the drivers’ side gas door was ripped off, white sauce and pasta were smeared all over the front grill and driver’s side window and scratched the message “move car” into the paint on the side of the car. In addition, he smeared more pasta sauce on the other windows, and wrote “I am an idiot” in the vehicle’s rear window. The total monetary worth of the damage is estimated to be around $800.
The appellant had a suspended sentence with probation, the defence appealed for a conditional discharge. The appellant argued that the principle of restraint should be emphasized. However, the appellate Court did not agree, as sentencing principles should be weighed by the discretion of the trial judge. The appeal was dismissed, and the appellant’s suspended sentence with 12 months’ probation was upheld.
R. v. Popova, 2023 ONCJ 331
In the Ontario Court of Justice case of R. v. Popova, the defendant pled guilty to arson disregard human life, failure to comply with a release order, and mischief. During the autumn of 2022, the defendant set fire and damaged multiple properties, including properties where she was on a release order not to attend.
The defendant has no prior record, struggled with Polysubstance Use Disorder, and Substance Induced Psychosis. She was under the influence when she committed the offences. She has skills, significant work experience, some education, and family support.
The Court considered the aggravating factors of: starting 11 fires in two days, around residential areas where vulnerable persons lived, she did not warn anyone about the fires, created numerous dangerous situations with the fires, and was out on bail when the offences were committed. The Court also considered the offender’s personal circumstances and mitigating factors of the first-time offence, the guilty plea, and family support. The offender was sentenced to a conditional sentence of 14 months, a 3 year probation order, as well as the ancillary orders of a DNA order and a weapons prohibition for 10 years.
R. v. Elliott, 2020 ONCJ 134
In the Ontario Court of Justice case of R. v. Elliott, the accused pled guilty to one count of mischief under $5,000. She had written an Islamophobic phrase on the front door of a bakery owned by people from Iran. When arrested, the offender immediately confessed and expressed sincere remorse.
The Crown submitted that the aggravating factors in this case would require a three month conditional sentence. However, the Court also must recognize the mitigating factors of the first-time offence, the guilty plea, and the sincere remorse. The accused had wished to apologize to the victims but was forbidden by the authorities to do so. The accused suspect that she was not in a proper state during the commission of the crime, as her hormones and her mental state were erratic due to her changing medication. The primary aggravating factor, however, was the hate behind the mischief. The Court emphasized the harm this type of hateful conduct can cause, as well as the possible ramifications of further hate. As this aggravating factor emphasized the principle of denunciation, the Court sentenced the offender to a conditional sentence of house arrest for one month, followed by 18 months’ probation. In addition, she was ordered to perform 30 hours of community service.