January 12, 2016 4:36 pm
Updated: January 12, 2016 5:09 pm

Three month weekend jail sentence for hit-and-run driver in Toronto cyclist’s death

A picture of Tom Samson displayed by his parents outside court Jan. 12, 2016.

Caryn Lieberman/Global News

TORONTO — A 25-year-old Toronto man has been sentenced to spend weekends in jail for three months after being convicted of a fatal hit-and-run crash that claimed the life of a 35-year-old father and beloved teacher.

Tom Samson was hit by two vehicles on Davenport Road at Lansdowne Avenue while riding his bike on Nov. 23, 2012. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Miguel Oliveira, who was driving the first vehicle, kept on going. He turned himself in 40 hours later, despite sustaining major damage to his minivan.

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In delivering her sentence, Superior Court Justice Faye McWatte said, “Based on the damage to Mr. Oliveira’s vehicle, he had to have known he hit the cyclist who eventually died and that, at the least, the cyclist was injured after the collision.”

Oliveira pleaded guilty to failing to stop at the scene of an accident involving a death.

Including credit for time served under house arrest leading up to his guilty plea, Oliveira will serve a three-month sentence on the weekends.

The judge also handed down a two-year driving ban and Oliveira will have to perform 240 hours of community service.

Oliveira’s lawyer Calvin Barry said his client is, “very remorseful, he was crying uncontrollably at the last court session, he’s accepted his responsibility, it’s been very difficult on the tight-knit Portuguese family.”

Barry calls the sentence fit and just, adding Oliveira “had no prior record, he didn’t breach his bail all the time since the arrest, he turned himself in shortly after the tragic incident occurred.”

Asked about the sentence, Tom Samson’s father Uri Samson replied, “I’m not angry, it cannot bring back my son. Regardless one month, two months, five years, this aspect doesn’t change a thing.”

Samson added he’s feeling both relieved and frustrated. “Relieved that this whole ordeal is over and frustrated that the Criminal Code in Canada sets so little emphasis on the life of a person who is killed in a hit and run accident.”

Tom Samson was a popular Grade 2 teacher at Swansea Junior and Senior Public School in Toronto’s west end. He leaves behind a wife and two children.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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