Court asked to reduce sentence for hockey player

Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Scales of justice

The P.E.I. Court of Appeal has been asked to reduce the sentence imposed in the case of a 19-year-old St. Peters Bay man earlier this year for leaving the scene of an accident.

Zachary Evans-Renaud had been sentenced to four months in the provincial correctional centre for striking and seriously injuring a pedestrian with his car near UPEI and leaving him on the side of the road to fend for himself.

In court Friday Mitchell MacLeod, Evans-Renaud's defence counsel, asked the province's highest court to reduce that sentence to one of less than 90 days in jail so that his client could serve it on an intermittent basis.

MacLeod requested an intermittent sentence so that Evans-Renaud could continue his course of studies at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Truro.

He also asked for the reduction of Evans-Renaud's sentence so that he could continue to play Junior A hockey for the Truro Bearcats.

Evans-Renaud would like to be available to play for the Fred Page Cup, the Eastern Canadian Junior A Championship, which the Bearcats will host next year.

That representation prompted Chief Justice David Jenkins to remark that Evans-Renaud could be sentenced to eight months in jail and still be out in time to play in that tournament.

Asked what sentence he would like the court to impose in this case MacLeod proposed that Evans-Renaud be sentenced to a short, sharp period in custody, something less than 90 days.

That sentence would be served, he proposed, on an intermittent basis in blocks of varying lengths.

MacLeod set out a potential timetable in which the sentence could be served over the next number of months.

The sentence he proposed was designed to accommodate Evans-Renaud's studies in Truro moreso than his hockey schedule, he indicated.

MacLeod also proposed that the sentence include two years of probation, 100 hours of community service work and restitution of just under $700.

He also proposed a two-year driving prohibition.

Crown Counsel Gerald Quinn asked the court to uphold the original sentence imposed by Chief Provincial Court Judge John Douglas.

Quinn said the sentence imposed was well within the range of sentences generally imposed by the court for a charge of leaving the scene of an accident.

He said the sentence recognized both the gravity of the offence and the risk of harm to the victim, who suffered serious injuries.

Quinn argued that before an Appellate Court can interfere with the sentence imposed by a provincial court there must be a reversible error in judgment by that judge.

Quinn noted the Supreme Court of Canada has directed appellate courts not to tinker with sentences imposed in cases from provincial courts unless there are serious errors in law.

Jenkins questioned whether what the court was being asked to do here could be considered as tinkering in light of the arguments before the court.

Quinn said he had not heard any argument advanced by MacLeod that would prompt a reduction in sentence.

Quinn said what was put before the sentencing judge was justified and reasonable.

He said the six months requested by the Crown would have been reasonable but that the four months imposed by Douglas was still within the acceptable range of sentence.

MacLeod argued that Douglas had failed to articulate in his decision that he had given due consideration to all of the other sentencing options available to the court after he decided that a conditional discharge was not appropriate.

MacLeod had originally intended to ask the Court of Appeal to consider the imposition of a conditional sentence   for Evans-Renaud but abandoned that notion after considering decisions from two other jurisdictions that had just come to his attention.

The Court of Appeal has taken the case under advisement and will render its decision in several weeks.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Agricultural College, P.E.I. Court, Appellate Court Supreme Court of Canada

Geographic location: Peters Bay, Truro

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • Realist
    September 26, 2012 - 11:23

    When we were young and did something wrong were our privileges not taken away from us? So why does this young man get to continue to do what he loves when he has clearly done something wrong? Should his privileges not be taken away permanently? Yet the legal system is making an exception because he has a "chance" in sports. Whether Renaud receives a lesser sentence or not he has already shown what type of person he is and will always be the second he drove away. His instinct was to run and not to help someone who could have been seriously injured. I am sure this one incident can relate to other, if not all, aspects of his life. He has shown exactly who he is by having absolutely no compassion for another human being. I believe he should serve the sentence as given to him almost a year ago and be thankful he isn’t serving time and dealing with taking someone’s life. Then let him try and make something of himself in life with his rose coloured glasses on, see how far he gets when the real world comes around for him.

  • Sylvia
    September 18, 2012 - 14:35

    Hey do the crime pay with your time! You are no more special than any other criminal.

  • Gerard
    September 18, 2012 - 11:47

    Do we have a DOUBLE STANDARD just because Rinaud is a Hockey player?????????? I think NOT.

  • unknown
    September 17, 2012 - 19:57

    Did Mike Danton get a different sentence for his crime? Then why should Renaud? You did the crime not STFU and get your rear end behind bars!

    September 17, 2012 - 19:13

    WITH friends like that

  • Friend
    September 17, 2012 - 14:06

    This is a very unfortunate situation. Do I believe Zach should have drove away? No. Do I believe he should have a lesser sentence for his actions? No. Do I believe he should not have to serve any time because of his hockey career? No. Over the past few years I have grown to know Zach and I know he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Everybody commenting on this are attacking him and saying he is "arrogant", "childish", and "a moron". What you do not know is Zach is in fact a great guy, who made a mistake. We all make mistakes that we have to live with. Zach is living through his right now. I'm sure it does not make it any easy for Zach to have to read these hateful comments towards him. I am sorry for the victim and his family, and I do believe Zach should serve time, but at the same time folks, think about how incredibly mean you are being to a person you know as "the guy who drove away". You can not judge a book by its cover, keep that in mind. All we see is what is in the headlines and nothing further than that.

  • former islander
    September 17, 2012 - 13:41

    Perhaps the two sides can reach a compromise. Give Zack the intermittent sentence he wishes for so he can go to school and play hockey, but triple the amount of time he has to serve. Let him take his choice.

  • Concerned Islander
    September 17, 2012 - 12:40

    WOW, that is all I can say after reading this article. Obviously, Mr. Evans-Renaud and his parents feel it is okay to hit someone, leave them for dead and then attempt to have the car repaired so there is nothing for the police/investigators to go on. Poor, poor boy - you do the crime, you also do the time. I laughed when the article said he was more interested in his education at NSAC than anything, but hockey is just a little side thing. The Zach Evans-Renaud that I know - believe me, studying and going as far as he can in school is the last thing on his mind. He's gonna be an NHL star after all - who needs school! I certainly hope P.E.I.'s highest court upholds the earlier sentence - or, even make it a stiffer sentence. He deserves it.

  • Really?
    September 17, 2012 - 10:54

    You hit a guy and left him there injured. Now you're asking to lessen your time of the crime you did, so you can hit a puck with a stick. You want to continue living your life the way you have been, well what happened to that mans life when you hit him? He was in hospital care and rehabilitation, for how long? HIS life was put on hold becasue some moron (ahem, you) have the balls to actually hit someone (okay it happens), but then to DRIVE away as if it never happened? Crime on PEI is going to become much greater because the concequences are nothing, like a slap on the wrist. If you want these crimes to end or at lease lessen, the consequences must be greater and strict so they will not learn.

  • shirley
    September 17, 2012 - 10:35


  • Sympathetic
    September 17, 2012 - 10:31

    I am sympathetic to the victim of the crime and to all parents involved. However, I am disgusted that a suggestion even be made that this childish man be given any breaks. He is of the age of reason and had to know that his actions would have consequences. He had best serve the time and give his brain an opportunity to learn what responsibilities those with a driver's licence have, as well as learing what really matters in life. It is not hockey. It is how we respect the lives of others in our community. I am sorry, but respecting this young man and his wishes are just too big a stretch. He seriously needs to accept responsibility to society, not just the puck.

  • SG
    September 17, 2012 - 09:53

    I can't believe I even read this!! An Intermittent Sentence so he can continue his studies at the NSA College!! Thankfully someone saw the young man he Hit that night or who knows how long he would have been laying there? Does Evans-Renaud still have a drivers license?

  • A Mom
    September 17, 2012 - 09:34

    Throw the book at him. I am sure that the young man that he hit had to miss out on lots of things he enjoyed because of Zach's idiotic and cowardly act. Too bad the Bearcat's wouldn't let him go. Suck it up and serve your time. You brought this on yourself.

  • Come on
    September 17, 2012 - 08:38

    So he hits a guy, leaves the scene, and his biggest priority is to play hockey in a second tier junior league? Throw him in jail to bring him back to reality.

  • speedy
    September 17, 2012 - 08:23

    Well if this works we won,t need any courts, defense council may as well ask to have any case dismissed.

  • bayboy dont be a coward like when you left the young man for dead.
    September 17, 2012 - 08:22

    Zachary Evans-Renaud left the man for dead on the side of the road, why should this even be brought up, Mr Evans-Renaud thinks he should be let out to ( PLAY A GAME)Fred Page Cup. Every action has a Reaction...... Zachary Evans-Renaud do your time

  • Den
    September 17, 2012 - 08:22

    Big whoop, the dunce should have thought of that before leaving the scene of an accident. If it was a non-hockey player that did it, we'd have the book thrown at us. Why show this guy any preferential treatment?

  • Disgusted
    September 17, 2012 - 08:04

    I am sure the person he hit that evening had plans for his life too that have been effected by renauds actions. Why give him a lessor sentence for he can play hokey and enjoy something. Moron

  • don
    September 17, 2012 - 08:02

    four months was not long enough. what if he put the guy in a wheel chair or killed him? he should not be allowed behind another wheel of a car.i would have put in for a year and lose his licence for 5 years. reason being stupid.

  • bye the way
    September 17, 2012 - 07:57

    Ya ...and Wes the Cat had to sing at old Home Week...put him where he should be Judge.

  • Are you Serious?
    September 17, 2012 - 07:30

    Defence Counsellor, Mitchell MacLeod: Your client did the crime and he should do the time. Chief Provincial Court Judge John Douglas: This individual left the scene of an accident and left this young man to die by the side of the road. Do not lessen this sentence and do not accommodate MacLeod's wishes. Evans-Renaud: Your studies can be put on hold for the year! And you know what! Your hockey can, too! Too bad, So sad!

  • Left for dead
    September 17, 2012 - 07:23

    So, he hit someone with his car, and left them for dead. And is now asking for a very short sentence to be served in bits and pieces only when it is convenient for him. Someone with such little care or remorse should be taken off the streets for as long as possible.

  • Are U Kidding me?
    September 17, 2012 - 07:17

    I got an idea... GO DO YOUR TIME... poor baby if you miss some games. How many games did the victim miss? Give your head a shake.

  • WTF
    September 17, 2012 - 07:00

    Yes, let's grant these kids lesser sentences because they are special hockey players, and we like to treat them with god status!!! Look at what happened to Danny Heatly (I'm not comparing this incident to his unfortunate incident), but we have to stop treating these kids like they can get away with anything with no repercussions!!!

  • Obvious guy says
    September 17, 2012 - 06:02

    "Quinn said he had not heard any argument advanced by MacLeod that would prompt a reduction in sentence." He's a hockey player and the Q hasn't locked out. I think that's what MacLeod is arguing.

  • ?
    September 17, 2012 - 05:58

    What? So if you go to school or play hockey, you don't have to do pay for your crime.

  • Joe Citizen
    September 17, 2012 - 05:40

    Meanwhile in a parallel universe, Zachary Evans-Renaud accepts his sentence and is remorseful.

    September 17, 2012 - 05:04

    A R R O G A N C E !!!!!! E G O !!! Big deal he wants his way so he can play !!!!!!

  • Charlottetown Observer
    September 17, 2012 - 02:17

    Yes, I can see why the guilty party wouldn't want to be inconvenienced by something so meaningless as a sentence for his criminal behavior. Certainly every Canadian can understand that when hockey is at stake the courts must be revised so that the sport doesn't suffer the absence of a player. I'm sure he's learned his lesson and the next pedestrian he runs over will hopefully be timed for hockey season much better.

  • Shellie
    September 17, 2012 - 01:14

    Evans-Renaud should have thought about his college and hockey when he struck a \\\\\\human \\\\\being and then took off like a coward leaving the scene of the accident. RENAUD Deserves every bit of this Sentence and then some.

    • James
      September 17, 2012 - 16:36

      agreed Shellie, 4 months is insufficient for attempted manslaughter, let the guy rot in a cell for a while, it will do him some good.