UPDATE (Nov.7, 2016): Christopher Malloy was handed a prison sentence of two years less a day in court Monday morning for causing a crash that left a Surrey dad paralyzed in 2015. He will also face a three-year driving ban after he completes his prison sentence. More to come.
Sentencing decision has been adjourned on Wednesday for the impaired driver who left a Surrey hockey dad paralyzed following a serious collision.
Gurb Aujla was driving his 10-year-old son home from a hockey practice in January 2015 when another vehicle, driven by a drunk driver, slammed into his car from behind while fleeing from another accident.
The impact of the collision spun Aujla’s car into oncoming traffic, where it was struck on the passenger side by another vehicle.
Aujla was left paralyzed from the chest down and was told he will never walk again. His son escaped with minor physical injuries.
The driver involved, Christopher Malloy, pleaded guilty to three counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm and one count of failing to remain at the accident scene.
At a sentencing hearing earlier this month, the court heard Malloy’s blood alcohol level at the time of the crash was more than three times the legal limit.
Court also heard Malloy has struggled with alcohol addiction since he was 17 years old. He’s now 52. Malloy’s lawyer said he has sought counselling since the crash and has not gotten behind the wheel of a vehicle. He’s also been sober for the past 18 months — the longest stretch of sobriety to date.
Crown is asking for 12 to 18 months in prison on the bodily harm convictions and 60 days for failure to remain at the scene, as well as a three-year driving ban.
Today, the judge made the decision to adjourn the case because he was concerned the sentencing range recommendation was not appropriate.
But Amy Aujla, Gurb’s wife, wants to see a tougher sentence.
“I am very disappointed that they’re asking for a lower sentence,” Amy said.
Through tears, members of the Aujla family read victim impact statements in court. Amy described how their four children have struggled to cope with the diagnosis. While their son suffered only minor physical injuries in the crash, Amy said his spirit was crushed, describing him as withdrawn.
Their youngest child — the Aujla’s only daughter — has struggled the most.
In his own statement, Gurb said he’s been given a life sentence.
“Because he chose to drive like a speeding bullet, I’ve lost three-quarters of my life.”
A long history of offences
Malloy’s driving record shows convictions for careless driving and speeding in the past, as well as six prior 24-hour driving prohibitions, three of which involved alcohol.
As far as MADD Metro Vancouver’s Bob Rorison is concerned, Malloy’s licence should have been revoked years ago.
“He just simply didn’t care and what he did that night, he’s done it repeatedly,” Rorison said. “He was heading down the highway at 150 kilometres an hour – 100 miles an hour – and it was only a matter of time, you could see.”
Crown said his driving record is a key aggravating factor in the case.
Defence agreed with Crown’s sentencing submission, but is asking for a sentence on the lower end of the spectrum.
Speaking in court, Malloy apologized for what happened.
“I can never say or do anything to repair what I’ve done,” he said. “This has been most difficult for not just me but for everyone involved.”
~With files from Nadia Stewart