Man who choked woman gets sentence reduced after appeal

Ryan Ross
Published on May 29, 2014

Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island

©Guardian photo

An Island man who was serving almost two years in jail after he attacked and threatened to kill a woman is getting out earlier than expected after he successfully appealed his sentence.

Darren Ralph McLean pleaded guilty to the offences and in January he was sentenced to two years less a day in jail after he got into an argument with the victim while they were driving, grabbed the steering wheel and forced the truck off the road.

He then grabbed the victim by the throat, hit her several times and choked her until she almost passed out.

P.E.I. Supreme Court Justice Ben Taylor was the presiding judge on the case and McLean appealed the sentence on the grounds that it was based on an incorrect application of the principles of sentencing.

In a decision released May 28, the appeals court agreed and reduced his sentence to 14 months, saying it was the appropriate period of jail time for assault causing bodily harm.

In overturning the original sentence, the appeal judges said the case involved a serious offence and that should include lengthy jail time, but it also required a sentencing judge to consider all of the principles of sentencing.

The appeal judges said Taylor’s sentence was not in line with the range previously imposed in P.E.I. and no explanation was given as to why the offence or McLean should be viewed as exceptional.

McLean was also sentenced to serve time concurrently for uttering a threat to kill the victim and for committing mischief by forcing the vehicle off the road.

With the change after the successful appeal, McLean will have served his entire sentence and will now be on probation for three years.