Despite a joint submission of one year in jail and 18 months probation, a Chilliwack provincial court judge sentenced Andrew Mullaly to 18 months jail and three years probation for the ongoing sexual assault of a girl between the ages of 11 and 16. (Facebook)

B.C. judge defies lawyers and adds six months to man’s sex assault sentence

‘I find the joint submission is contrary to the public interest and I’m rejecting it’

A man convicted of sexually and emotionally abusing a teenaged girl for years was handed a sentence 50 per cent longer than requested in a joint submission by Crown and defence in a rare decision by a provincial court judge.

Andrew Mullaly elicited no emotion in courtroom 203 at the Chilliwack Law Courts on June 21 as Judge Andrea Ormiston sentenced him to 18 months jail followed by three years probation, the maximum allowed under the charge conviction.

Crown counsel Grant Lindsey and Mullaly’s lawyer Darrel Schultz had put forth a joint submission in April for one year in jail followed by 18 months probation.

Judge Ormiston decided that sentence for Mullaly who committed as many as two dozen acts of “sexual humiliation” on the girl between the ages of 11 and 16 was “not only unfit but one that is contrary to the public interest.”

In rejecting the joint submission, the judge pointed to a Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decision that said joint submissions should not be rejected unless that sentence would be contrary to the public interest. In R v Anthony Cook, a decision delivered by Justice Michael Moldaver of the SCC, it was made clear that a joint submission should not be rejected lightly.

“Joint submissions promote the smooth operation of the criminal justice system,” Moldaver wrote. “The appellant gave up his right to a trial and any self-defence argument he may have had. In the end, the trial judge’s deviation from the recommended custodial sentence — by only six months — amounts to little more than tinkering.”

In Canadian law, judges are not bound by joint submissions, however, the courts are generally reluctant to divert from what is proposed by both Crown or defence assuming there is case law showing similar sentences for similar crimes.

Ormiston decided, however, that in this case the submission was indeed not in the public interest.

“I find that under the specific circumstances of this plea agreement, one year cannot be reconciled with the principles and ranges established in the authorities,” she said.

“I find the joint submission is contrary to the public interest and I’m rejecting it.”

Mullaly was charged with sexual assault, extortion and possession of child pornography for ongoing abuse of the girl from the time she was 11 until 16. The multi-year abuse and humiliation began with emotional “punishment” that expanded to repeated instances of sexual touching and sexual assault.

During the brief hearing on April 12, Lindsey read parts of a victim impact statement from the girl, in which she said she felt “used, manipulated, hopeless, ashamed.”

• READ MORE: Judge questions joint submission for Chilliwack man who sexually assaulted girl

It was then in court that Judge Ormiston first raised the spectre of rejecting the joint submission, based on her concerns about the serious nature of the facts, the brevity with which case law was presented, and the rushed nature of the hearing late on a Friday afternoon.

As part of the plea agreement, Crown proceeded summarily rather than by indictment, which meant the conviction to which he pleaded is substantially less serious than if it were to be heard in BC Supreme Court.

As the sentence was read out and he was taken away by a sheriff to jail, Mullaly expressed no emotion.

Another wrinkle in the case occurred after the April sentencing hearing when local Crown counsel — ordered by the provincial Public Prosecution Service — applied to extend the standard publication ban name on the identity of the victim to include Mullaly’s name.

• READ MORE: OPINION: When observation affects what is observed

The application, unsurprisingly supported by Mullaly, was left undecided upon between April and the June 20 appearance. In the interim, Judge Ormiston asked Crown to ask the victim her perspective on extending the publication ban to Mullaly.

“They are not concerned with the mentioning of his name in the newspaper,” Lindsey said in court on June 20.

Ormiston then explained how the singular concern of the court is of the privacy of the victim. She pointed to the fact that the Crown was not seeking a remedy for past instances when Mullaly’s name was used, and no evidence of a publication ban violation was presented in court.

“Today I have the added evidence that the victim does not share the Crown’s concerns,” she said, adding that there was nothing presented to her to explain why Mullaly’s name should not appear in print.

“I simply cannot make that finding on the specific evidence that has been heard here in court.”

She left the original publication ban on any information that could identify the victim in place, thereby leaving the onus on the media to not reveal her identity.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Okanagan delegates off to BC Winter Games

Athletes, coaches and officials making the long trek north

Vernon Mustangs dominate D Final

Hosts crush Merritt 18-4 at Coca Cola Classic Peewee tourney

Vernon Vipers hold off Warriors

BCHL: Vipers in dogfight with Wenatchee, Salmon Arm for third place in Interior Division

North Okanagan Knights draw Chiefs in first round

KIJHL: Knights closing out regular season; will play division-winning Kelowna in opening round

South teams battle in Vernon peewee final

South OK vs South Delta in A final of Coca Cola Classic; host Mustangs in D final at 9 a.m.

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Registration opens soon for BC 55+ Games in Richmond

2020 55+ Games have been officially scheduled for Sept. 15 to 19

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Most Read