Give teens maximum for murder, court told
Two teens arrested in the killing of Spence Street resident Audrey Cooper should receive the maximum sentence of seven years custody and community supervision, Crown and defence lawyers agree.
What they want a judge to decide is how long the now 18-year-old woman and 17-year-old girl should spend in custody.
A sentencing hearing for the teens began Monday. Justice Holly Beard is expected to sentence them next week.
The teens pleaded guilty last February to second-degree murder.
Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, they can serve no more than four years of their sentence in custody. They have already spent 3 1/2 years in pre-trial custody.
The girls were among four youths arrested following Cooper’s brutal killing outside her home in October 2006.
Certain details of the sentencing hearing cannot be printed due to a publication ban.
Court heard the 18-year-old accused has shown significant remorse for the killing, while the 17-year-old accused continues to “minimize and deflect” responsibility for her actions. They have both been assessed as medium risks to reoffend.
In a victim impact statement, Cooper’s parents described her as “a cheerful, creative and caring young woman.”
A now 16-year-old girl pleaded guilty last year to manslaughter and received the maximum youth sentence of three years custody and community supervision, with a requirement she live in a specialized group home until she is 18.
A now 18-year-old male co-accused is set to stand trial in June.
I dont think the maximum sentence should be given. I would like to know the background of these girls. Did they live in poverty? Have a tough childhood? In a gang? Negative peer influences? Substance Abuse? This article is biased in that it makes no mention of any mitigating factors of the 2 girls.
I think we need to address the underlying causes of crime. Prison fails to do that. I think since they are both medium risks to re-offend they should be given 2 years prison (as longer sentences do nothing to deter crime or reduce recidivism) combined with intensive rehabilitation/community supervision for 3 years to address their underlying issues.