Four years have passed without resolution in the aggravated assault case of Const. David Pompeo but the former North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP officer was in court Thursday for the first of two days of sentencing.
Crown prosecutor Carmen Rogers asked Provincial Court Judge Josiah Wood to impose a jail sentence in the range of 18 months to two years less a day and to prohibit Pompeo from firearms.
"How the Crown comes to that range is by looking at the law for aggravated assault," Rogers said. "This is aggravated assault." Pompeo was convicted of aggravated assault after shooting Bill Gillespie during a routine traffic stop on Sept. 18, 2009.
Rogers said the primary sentencing objectives should be denunciation and general deterrence and it should keep in mind the impact the events have on the victim.
"It's only by luck he was not killed by this," Rogers said. "I think it's fair to say the impact had been significant physically, emotionally, and financially."
While the true range available for Judge Wood to consider in the aggravated assault case is anywhere from a suspended sentence to 14 years in jail, Rogers said her recommendation was fitting.
"This clearly falls at the bottom of the range. .. but it's not a case that falls out of the range," she said.
Rogers argued that while Pompeo's case was not one of gratuitous violence, "it was a
miscalculation of a very significant variety." Citing case law, the prosecutor said that by virtue of him being a police officer, Pompeo held a place of trust and broke that. As a result, she said, the Mountie should be punished more severely than a civilian in the same circumstances.
Judge Wood called it a complex case.
"I share your view that this is a difficult case," he told Rogers. "It's one that I have been struggling with what to do about for a very long time."
Wood was bothered by elements of the use of force training both Pompeo and an expert testified about during the trial.
"Action always beats reaction," Wood said. "(Gillespie) was shot because action always beats reaction. In my view, the use of force training bears some responsibility on what occurred on the night in question."
Sentencing for the former North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP officer had been delayed multiple times. Gillespie said he just wants the ordeal over with.
"I'm hoping the court will come back with an appropriate sentencing," he said. "I've been waiting for justice now for over four long and stressful years. I just want this to be over."
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