A high-profile New Brunswick court case has seen a drunk driver get a 46-month sentence for hitting a rider and pillion in 2016, the CBC reports.
Robert Drew Shannon was sentenced on Friday; last June, Shannon hit rider Mike Burden and wife Kendra as he drove the wrong way through a Fredericton traffic circle.
Shannon’s blood alcohol content was estimated at four times the legal limit; in September, he pleaded guilty to three charges, include causing an accident resulting in bodily harm with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit. The Crown reserved charges of impaired driving causing bodily harm, and driving with a suspended licence, in relation to an alleged driving incident earlier in the year.
Both riders were injured in the crash; Mike Burden lost much of his left leg as a result of his injuries, and suffered a brain injury, several broken bones, and crushed stomach and lungs, and he now has a changed personality. Kendra Burden had surgeries to repair her ankle, and in her victim statement, she told the court her family was being torn apart by the accident’s aftermath.
Along with his 46-month sentence (minus 299 days for time served), Shannon will have a four-year driving prohibition. The sentence is more severe than what the Crown had asked for (30-36 months in jail, 4-5 year driving prohibition). The maximum penalty he could have received was 10 years in jail.
Shannon’s lawyer had asked for a psychiatric examination, to see if Shannon was criminally responsible for his actions, but Judge Julian Dickson denied the request.
For more details on the case, read CBC’s stories here and here. The court case was filled with outbursts from Mike Burden; the CBC said he told Shannon “You should’ve hit reverse and run over me,” and said his amputated leg was “worth more than two or three years.” At one point, Burden had to be led out of court.