Gayska and Richard Suter

Leave to Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada Granted in R v Suter

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The Supreme Court of Canada has today granted Leave to Appeal in the case of R v Suter.  This will allow Mr. Suter to appeal his sentence of 26 months incarceration to the highest court in Canada.  Mr. Suter continues to serve that sentence while he waits for his appeal to be heard.

“I am so pleased with this development,” Suter’s defence lawyer Dino Bottos said Thursday.  Bottos noted that sentence appeals are rarely heard by the Supreme Court.

“Finally, we’re going to have the top court in the country hear this, and probably make new law.  “For them to take our case on means that they must have seen a real problem with the Court of Appeal’s decision. So I’m optimistic, but cautiously optimistic.”

The trial judge found the 65-year-old retired businessman was not impaired at the time of the crash.

At the time of sentencing, Bottos called the case “one out of 10,000” because of bad legal advice his client received from another lawyer. He described the three-year sentence as “dramatically harsh” and “inherently unfair.”

“I’ll be asking for the Supreme Court to overturn the Court of Appeal’s decision, because they raised the sentence from four months to 26 months and they did so, in my opinion, respectfully, by committing several errors of law,” Bottos said Thursday in an interview with CBC News.

“They presumed that Mr. Suter was being strategic in his decision in his choice to not provide a breath sample, when … the initial sentencing judge found that Suter was misled by his lawyer and made an honest mistake.”

For more, please read the full article on CBC News here.

The SCC Leave to Appeal decision can be found here.

The Alberta Court of Appeal decision is posted on CanLII.

The Alberta Provincial Court Sentencing decision is also hosted on CanLII.

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