Penticton man with multiple driving infractions loses appeal on ‘harsh’ sentence

Driver has been convicted multiple times, including for criminal negligence causing death

A Penticton man who has been convicted of multiple driving incidents over the last seven years, including one that resulted in a death, has lost an appeal to overturn a judge’s “unduly harsh” sentence for his latest driving while prohibited charge.

Brian William Cooper pleaded guilty in February to flight from police and driving while prohibited related to an incident that took place on Oct. 2, 2018. He argued that an effective jail term of 18 months from Justice Greg Koturbash for his fourth driving offence was not appropriate, especially when the Crown counsel was only seeking a year.

According to court documents, a police officer observed Cooper driving a motorcycle, with one female passenger, without a license plate. Two police vehicles turned on their emergency lights in an attempt to stop Cooper, who slowed briefly before accelerating away “driving at speed through a townhouse complex.” RCMP said they eventually located him down a laneway and his abandoned motorbike was found by a police dog a short distance away.

READ MORE: Year in jail for wheelman who led Penticton police on a chase

The Crown at the time of sentencing was seeking one year in jail, a period of probation and a five-year driving prohibition. Defence counsel was asking for a conditional sentence of up to two years less a day, followed by a three-year probation order. Defence agreed that a five-year driving prohibition should be imposed.

In the B.C. Court of Appeal judgment, Crown acknowledged that the judge was led into error in considering the circumstance of Cooper’s criminal past because his record filed at sentencing contained errors that duplicated convictions on driving offences including flight from police and driving while prohibited.

However, the Crown submitted that Cooper did have a “significant” criminal record. This includes convictions of criminal negligence causing death, criminal negligence accusing bodily harm and flight from police in 2006. Cooper had convictions of dangerous driving, driving while prohibited and flight from police in 2012 and in 2016 and 2017 he had two further convictions for driving while prohibited.

“The sentencing judge was particularly concerned that Mr. Cooper had caused the death of his friend because of his dangers driving and yet continued to commit driving offences. The errors in the criminal record do not affect that reasoning or the judge’s concern that Mr. Cooper lacked insight about the risks posed by his driving behaviour,” it states in the reasons.

The appeals court said the judge imposed a sentence for flight from police which was lower than the sentence Cooper received for the same offence previously. The judge also imposed a slightly higher sentence for driving while prohibited than the one had previously received for that offence. The appeals court said in their view, the judge “did not err in concluding that a significant sentence was required given Mr. Cooper’s repeated violations of previous driving prohibitions.”

Cooper did receive a reprieve in that the appeals court found that the judge made a mistake due to the errors filed on the criminal record that led to Koturbash handing him a five-year driving prohibition. This part of the sentencing was adjusted to reflect a two and three year ban on each conviction that are served consecutively.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
editor@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health records third COVID-19 death

A new community outbreak was reported at Okanagan Men’s Centre in Lake Country

Decorate, dress up and eat candy. But consider staying home. Black Press photo
EDITORIAL: Think about staying home this Halloween

Like everything in 2020, it has to be different

In 1907, Summerland’s first council consisted of five people, all elected by acclamation. In the top row from left are reeve J.M. Robinson, R.H. Agur and J.R. Brown. In the bottom row are J. C. Ritchie at left and C.J. Thomson. 
(Photos courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Summerland’s first council was elected by acclamation

Reeve and four councillors were elected in December, 1906

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Bear sightings have been reported in a residential area in Summerland in late October. The Conservation Officer Service is urging people to take measures so bears are not drawn to the area (Black Press file photo)
Bear sightings reported from Summerland neighbourhood

Conservation Officer Service urges people not to leave garbage outside

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as fake Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Melissa Leveque claims that on June 2, 2020 she spilled hot tea on her lap due to negligence on the part of staff at Penticton’s Riverside Starbucks drive-thru. (Google maps photo)
Woman sues Starbucks over hot tea spill at Penticton drive-thru

Melissa Leveque claims she suffered second degree burns, seeking $35,000

One Peak Creative has made a catapult which allows children to receive candy in a socially distanced fashion. (Onepeakcreative - Instagram)
Kelowna production company creates Halloween catapult

One Peak Creative promoted the product by making a reality TV style video

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee arrive for annual Cascadia conference in Vancouver, Oct. 10, 2018. They have agreed to coordinate the permanent switch to daylight saving time. (B.C. government)
B.C. still awaiting U.S. approval to eliminate daylight saving time

Clocks going back one hour Nov. 1 in Washington too

A man was caught on surveillance taking a large outdoor heater from the patio at Intermezzo early morning Wednesday, Oct. 28. (Contributed)
WATCH: Heater theft leaves Okanagan business cold

Patio heater stolen from Intermezzo, found trashed

Most Read