Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Appeal court adds 18 months to prison term of B.C. man who abused intimate partner

The trial was heard in Surrey provincial court

A higher court has tacked an extra 18 months onto the prison term of a man who abused his “intimate partner” after the Crown appealed a Surrey provincial court judge’s sentence.

David Welesley Somers was convicted in Surrey on Oct. 6, 2020 of 10 crimes involving repeated acts of violence against his partner and the judge sentenced him to eight years and nine months but reduced the aggregate sentence to four years and six months, less time served.

The Crown appealed that sentence, arguing it was “demonstrably unfit” on grounds it failed to take into account the severity of Somer’s crimes, which involved assault with a weapon, uttering a death threat, unlawful confinement, slapping the woman’s face and choking her.

The court heard he held a knife to her wrist and threatened to cut off her hand.

READ ALSO: Appeal court upholds Surrey judge’s finding that man on student visa sexually assaulted teen

The court also heard that by the time Somers was tried on these offences he already had 50 criminal convictions and spend most of his adult life – he was 35 at the time of this trial – going in and out of prison for robbery, assault, assault with a weapon, assault causing bodily harm, and assaulting a peace officer.

“His parole had been revoked three times,” noted Justice Susan Griffin, of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia, in her May 25 reasons for decision delivered via videoconference. “His longest sentence was six years for the robbery and weapons offences.”

The Crown prosecutor argued for a sentence of 13.5 years, reduced to nine or 10 for time served, while the defence argue for a sentence of 36 months and five days, less credit for time served, plus three years of probation.

“When abuse occurs in the complainant’s own home and family environment, the complainant’s sense of personal security can be totally destroyed,” Griffin noted in her reasons.

READ ALSO: Surrey hotel room stabber loses appeal of his conviction

The Surrey judge in passing his aggregate sentence ordered that Somers serve two years concurrent to his other crimes on an attempt to obstruct justice conviction. Griffin changed this to an 18-month consecutive sentence.

“In my view, a fit aggregate sentence given the circumstances of the respondent and his offences would be six years’ imprisonment, before credit for time served,” Griffin decided.

Appeal Court Justices David Frankel and Christopher Grauer concurred.

CourtSurrey

Just Posted

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

.
Princeton’s Spotlight wins two provincial awards for excellence

Publisher takes first place for investigative reporting

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

(Dave Ogilvie photo)
One injured after being pinned by fallen forklift near Peachland

West Kelowna emergency crews responded to reports of a person stuck under a forklift

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)
Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

This goose family went for a leisurely stroll down Vernon’s Main Street Saturday, April 25. (Dave Deshane photo)
Controversial Vernon goose cull won’t fly this year

Necessary permit procedures held up at a federal level

Most Read