Court of Appeal concludes that mental health is causally linked to the offense, prison would threaten rehabilitation


“With all due respect, the Crown’s argument misses the point,” said Justice Gillese. For Fabbro’s sanity to be a mitigating factor, he doesn’t have to be delusional. His illness must be “an underlying reason” behind the offense and there must be evidence that a prison sentence would have a “serious negative effect” on him. Given her pre-sentence reports, medical records, treatments, and psychiatrist, social worker, and therapist reports, “a causal link is virtually inevitable,” she said.

A jail term would threaten the progress the evidence clearly showed Fabbro had made regarding his drug addiction and mental health, Justice Gillese said.

“An act of attempted suicide is the last cry for help. He is not asking for a whistleblower sentence, ”she said.

The recognition by the Court of Appeal that denunciation and deterrence can be obtained without a custodial sentence was significant, says Szigeti. Undermining Fabbro’s rehabilitation doesn’t serve the best interests of society, she said.

“This individual has made tremendous progress and sending him to jail was very likely to set it back. And that does not serve the purpose of rehabilitating our criminal justice system at all. “


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