Sending a perpetrator who slashed the throat of a total stranger on a CTrain to a federal penitentiary would do the perpetrator or society no good, a judge said Monday.
Instead, Provincial Court Judge Harry Van Harten sentenced Bobby Crane, 25, to the maximum provincial jail term of two years less a day and ordered him to serve three more years of probation.
Van Harten agreed with defense attorney Rebecca Snukal that the justice system failed Crane by repeatedly sending him to prison instead of getting him help navigating life while suffering from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
Snukal said that since 2019, her client has been sentenced to the equivalent of 6 1/2 years in prison, but only two periods of probation.
She said she has set up a placement for Crane in the John Howard Society’s FASD program that will hopefully help him deal with the challenges his disease has caused throughout his life.
She says Crane told a friend he wanted to “get” a guy before walking up to Smith with a utility knife.
“The accused … cut his throat and moved his knife from the right side to the left side of Mr. Smith’s neck dragged.”
Smith said in his statement that since the assault he has been unable to use public transport, which he needs to get around as his visual impairment prevents him from driving.
Snukal said sending Crane to a federal prison would only make him a further danger to society upon his eventual release.
“If you impose the sentence that my friend is asking for … it does not help the public,” she said.
Allowing Crane to participate in the FASD program while on probation will, Snukal said.
“It’s going to give him a life and that’s what I’m asking you to do,” she told Van Harten.
The judge agreed, noting that prison was not the answer.
“I bet he can do another four years on his head,” he said.
Van Harten said the generational trauma that European society has caused to indigenous communities must be addressed.
“The history of colonialism has to be taken into account,” he said.
With credit for his time in custody since his arrest, Crane will have another 14 months of custody to serve.
On Twitter: @KMartinCourts