SQ officer guilty of dangerous driving in child’s death could get 8-month sentence
Pre-sentencing arguments began Monday for a Sûreté du Québec police officer found guilty in July of dangerous driving causing the death of a five-year-old boy in 2014.
Both the Crown and the defense have recommended an eight-month jail sentence and a one-year ban on driving — much less than the maximum 14-year penalty.
Nicholas Thorne-Belance was a passenger in his father’s car when it was struck by an unmarked police cruiser driven by Patrick Ouellet in Saint-Hubert, south of Montreal.
Ouellet, who was on surveillance duty at the time, was travelling at more than 120 km/h in a 50 km/h zone when he hit the vehicle carrying the young boy.
In court on Monday, Ouellet’s lawyer presented letters from family, friends and colleagues in support of the officer, describing him as a devoted father who is passionate about his work and lives every day with grief and sadness as a result of the crash.
Ouellet himself addressed the judge, saying through tears that not one day passes that he doesn’t wish he could change what happened that day.
He said he will forever carry the guilt with him.
At the end of his statement, Ouellet turned to the victim’s family and tearfully offered them his “most sincere condolences.”
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The judge is expected to render his decision on Nov. 20.
— With files from Global’s Felicia Parrillo
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