3-year sen­tence sought

Crown calls for 3 years in jail on top of time served for boy con­victed of man­slaugh­ter in killing of Terry Pringle

The Peterborough Examiner - - NEWS - JA­SON BAIN EX­AM­INER STAFF WRITER

Terry Pringle’s par­ents de­scribed the “sick, empty feel­ing” of los­ing their son as sen­tenc­ing sub­mis­sions were heard Tues­day af­ter­noon for a 17-yearold who pleaded guilty to man­slaugh­ter in con­nec­tion with the Ste­wart Street man’s Novem­ber 2016 beat­ing death.

“It’s a sick feel­ing when your son’s life is only worth a $100 bill,” read Pringle’s mother, Bev­erly Kingston, re­fer­ring to the co­caine of­fered as pay­ment for the as­sault as she read her vic­tim im­pact state­ment in Peter­bor­ough On­tario Court of Jus­tice.

Sa­man­tha Hall, who or­ches­trated the as­sault, was sen­tenced Tues­day morn­ing to 26 months in prison for con­spir­acy to com­mit an in­dictable of­fence caus­ing bod­ily harm.

Her son went through life with­out hear­ing the knock of po­lice at his door, Kingston said be­fore read­ing a vic­tim im­pact state­ment writ­ten by her husband Ralph, Pringle’s step­fa­ther, in which he called the 42-year-old “a fun-lov­ing man with a very big heart.”

“I know I will never get to hold my son or hear his laugh. That was taken from me,” he wrote, ask­ing the boy why he didn’t in­stead call po­lice with his phone. “I will never for­give as I will never stop lov­ing my son.”

The Crown seeks three years in cus­tody on top of the 350 days the youth has al­ready served at Cobourg’s Brook­side Youth Cen­tre, while the de­fence seeks a two-year sen­tence that gives him credit for the pre-sen­tence cus­tody.

The 17-year-old, who can­not be named un­der the Youth Crim­i­nal Jus­tice Act, pleaded guilty to man­slaugh­ter on Sept. 6 af­ter ini­tially be­ing charged with first-de­gree mur­der. He will re­turn to court Nov. 20 to learn his sen­tence.

A youth sen­tence is ap­pro­pri­ate, given cir­cum­stances that in­cludes the boy’s re­cent plea, as­sis­tant Crown at­tor­ney Kelly Eber­hard submitted.

She pointed out that the Crown ap­plied for an adult sen­tence in March, but is not pro­ceed­ing with it – al­though she told Madam Jus­tice Es­ther Rosen­berg she can still be guided by sim­i­lar cases where youths were sen­tenced as adults.

Be­cause the Crown can­not ask for pro­ba­tion on top of a three­year sen­tence, Eber­hard said it is ask­ing for three years of cus­tody and su­per­vi­sion, split 70:30 or even 50:50.

For ex­am­ple, the boy could serve two years and then, a month prior to his re­lease, re­turn to court so a judge can de­ter­mine the con­di­tions of the su­per­vi­sion por­tion of the sen­tence.

The Crown also seeks or­ders to sub­mit DNA and not to have con­tact with his co-ac­cused and sev­eral mem­bers of Pringle’s fam­ily, in­clud­ing the Kingstons.

A pre-sen­tence re­port – an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the boy’s his­tory – or­dered in the case pro­vided the base for sev­eral sub­mis­sions made by the lawyers.

As Eber­hard made sub­mis­sions on mit­i­gat­ing and ag­gra­vat­ing fac­tors, she pointed out that the in­for­ma­tion pro­vided in the re­port is mostly pos­i­tive and how the 17-year-old was given the high­est grade one can achieve in the process.

“He has used his cus­to­dial de­ten­tion in a pos­i­tive, con­struc­tive way, so far,” she said, adding that the boy was al­ways po­lite and “very can­did” in pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion dur­ing in­ter­views with psy­chol­o­gists and other pro­fes­sion­als.

The boy be­came in­volved be­cause it was a “job” for the self-iden­ti­fied mem­ber of a gang, Eber­hard said, point­ing out how he spoke about how he sought ac­cep­tance.

The pros­e­cu­tor pointed out, how­ever, that Pringle was killed in the sanc­tity of his own home as part of a planned ac­tiv­ity. The boy was to make a record­ing of the beat­ing to prove the plan was car­ried out and to get “blow” as pay­ment.

After­wards, he made no at­tempts to mit­i­gate the cir­cum­stances, she added.

Eber­hard pointed out that it is rare for the Crown to ask that credit not be given for time spent in cus­tody, but noted that, based on pre­vi­ous crim­i­nal cases, that the de­ci­sion whether or not to do so re­mains dis­cre­tionary.

If the 350 days were to be sub­tracted from the three years, the sen­tence would no longer be suit­able given the ag­gra­vat­ing fac­tors and se­ri­ous­ness of the case, she ar­gued.

De­fence lawyer Cyd­ney Is­rael dis­agreed, say­ing the boys should be cred­ited on a 1:1 ba­sis for the nearly 12 months he has spent in cus­tody.

She asked the judge to con­sider an eight-month cus­to­dial sen­tence fol­lowed by four months of con­di­tional su­per­vi­sion. Serv­ing a longer cus­to­dial sen­tence would be dele­te­ri­ous to his re­ha­bil­i­ta­tive ef­forts, the Toronto lawyer ar­gued.

The boy is con­fi­dent that he will have com­pleted all cred­its needed to grad­u­ate high school by next June, which would “dove­tail” with the de­fence re­quest for time served and an ad­di­tional eight months in cus­tody, Is­rael later added.

The lawyer said one of the rea­sons the de­fence is ask­ing for pre-sen­tence cus­tody to be de­ducted is the fact that her client spent be­tween six and eight weeks in med­i­cal seg­re­ga­tion af­ter an as­sault left him with eat­ing through a tube be­cause of a bro­ken jaw.

“This was an ex­tremely hard time for (the youth),” she said.

Is­rael also took is­sue with some as­pects of the re­port, not­ing that three hours of test­ing re­sults in eight pages of the doc­u­ment.

She said some of the word­ing makes it sound like historical is­sues are cur­rent, when her client has made sig­nif­i­cant gains in many ar­eas.

“I want to make sure this is in con­text for us.”

Not act­ing out or re­tal­i­at­ing to the two as­saults he has en­dured are signs that her client has done a “com­plete 180” while in cus­tody, Is­rael said.

The boy will be sen­tenced Nov. 22 at 2:15 p.m. in Court­room 3.

NOTE: See re­lated story on Page A1.

Pringle

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