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

Greater Victoria tourism industry ‘can’t wait any longer’ for financial aid

Saanich mayor, business owners call on provincial, federal governments for tourism-specific aid

COVID-19 demolishes new construction in Greater Victoria

Value of new building permits in Greater Victoria drop more than 37 per cent

Group desperate to find solution to wrecks lining shores of Cadboro Bay

Caddy Bay ‘a wild west’ without authority, say locals

Pauquachin First Nation calls on North Saanich to help restore shellfish in Coles Bay

The nation identifies ‘residential onsite septic systems’ as one of sources of contamination

No architect for Langford building ruled ‘unreasonable’ by B.C. Supreme Court

Legal action brought against City in 2019 for permit issued on Hoffman Avenue building

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

Gold River ready to welcome visitors and restart local businesses

In contrast to single-industry remote communities, Gold River’s diversified economy might help it better survive after reopening

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

Most Read