Canada N.D.G. woman who hit girl while driving drunk to be sentenced in June

03:10  17 may  2018
03:10  17 may  2018 Source:   montrealgazette.com

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051618-0517_city_fryer© Pierre Obendrauf

A Notre-Dame-de-Grâce resident who struck a 13-year-old girl while impaired and behind the wheel of large sports-utility vehicle will learn next month whether she will have to serve time behind bars for her drunken rampage through the streets of LaSalle.

Stephanie Fryer, 49, struck the girl on Aug. 11, 2014, after climbing into her boyfriend’s Cadillac Escalade while she was drunk. Before striking the teenager, who was walking along a sidewalk with her mother, the Escalade struck a moving car inside a parking lot, banged into two parked vehicles, rammed into a wooden staircase and hit a pole holding up a parking sign. Her reckless course finally came to an end when the Escalade crashed into a tree. When the police arrived, she refused to submit to a breathalyzer test and spat on a police officer.

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During a sentencing hearing on Wednesday, prosecutor Sylvie Dulude told Quebec Court Judge Sylvie Kovacevich that Fryer hopped into her boyfriend’s SUV and drove away “out of frustration” despite the fact she has never had a driver’s licence and was heavily impaired at the time.

The victim was taken to a hospital to be treated for minor injuries to her neck and back. In a victim-impact statement presented to Kovacevich earlier this year, the judge was informed that the girl was in pain for months before she found relief through massage therapy. The victim still fears crossing the street when she sees a vehicle approaching and she and her mother are reluctant to go outside out of fear of being struck again.

On Oct. 5, Fryer pleaded guilty to 10 charges related to what happened four years ago, including impaired driving causing bodily harm, assault causing bodily harm, failing to stop at the scene of an accident, criminal negligence, impaired driving and assaulting a police officer.

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“It’s like she doesn’t realize what she has done,” Dulude said in reference to an assessment contained in pre-sentencing report that Kovacevich ordered in preparation for Wednesday’s hearing.

The report detailed how Fryer admits she had a drinking problem in 2014 and is currently in Alcoholics Anonymous. But, Dulude said while summarizing the report written by a criminology expert who interviewed Fryer, she tried to minimize the gravity of what happened on the afternoon of Aug. 11, 2014.

“I think that for this type of infraction, we should put denunciation and deterrence above all other factors (like the chances of rehabilitation),” Dulude said, recommending that Fryer serve a prison term between 12 and 18 months.

The prosecutor also noted that Fryer has a criminal record. It includes convictions in 1989 for assault and assaulting a police officer. She also pleaded guilty in 2010 to the simple possession of marijuana.

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Men are more likely to drive drunk than women . Over half the children who died were riding in the car with the drunk driver .[2]. Lightner's 13-year-old daughter Cari was hit by a car while walking to a church carnival with a friend. Motorcycle riders are nearly twice as likely to be driving while drunk than passenger car drivers .[3].

The driver of this pickup truck was sentenced Thursday to 18 months in jail after driving drunk and crashing into two emergency medics on the Beltway in Montgomery County last year.

Defence lawyer Alan Guttman presented Kovacevich with precedents to support his argument that a prison term in a case of impaired driving involving bodily harm “isn’t always automatic.”

The attorney said he disagreed with Dulude’s assessment of his client’s attitude toward her crimes.

“She regrets deeply what she did and she regrets that a 13-year-old girl was injured,” Guttman said, recommending a 90-day prison term that Fryer can serve on weekends to be followed by performing 240 hours of community service.

He also said Fryer ended her relationship with the man who owned the Escalade because “he was a negative influence on her.”

Guttman said any court order prohibiting Fryer from driving in the future would be moot because she has no plans to obtain a driver’s licence.

“I think she has made headway, and thank God nobody was seriously injured,” Guttman said.

Kovacevich will deliver her decision on June 8.

pcherry@postmedia.com

Alberta father pleads guilty to sex offences against teenage daughter .
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