Michael Phillip Desbiens appeared in the Supreme Court of British Columbia on Monday for the first day of sentencing for two seperate indictments. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Crown seeks 17 years for man convicted drug trafficking, possession of prohibited firearms

First day of sentencing for man who committed second offence while on bail for the first

The air was light as Michael Phillip Desbiens walked into the Supreme Court of Canada on Monday morning for the first day of his sentencing hearing.

Desbiens, dressed in a suit jacket and dress pants, walked into the court room with his arms handcuffed behind his back. As the sheriff unlocked his handcuffs, Desbiens asked McKay for help with his tie, before sitting down in the defence box.

The Crown, represented by Thomas Corsi, is seeking a total sentence of 17 years in prison for two separate indictments both before Justice Myers. The first includes four years for possessions for the purpose of trafficking and another four years for possession of a prohibited firearm. For the second indictment, the Crown is seeking a nine year sentence, for two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking along with possession of a prohibited firearm.

READ ALSO: Westshore RCMP arrest man wielding gun near Trans-Canada Highway

The question of whether the sentences should be served consecutively or concurrent is up for debate in the courts. Myers recognized the Crown’s asking was severe but Corsi rebutted saying the crimes were “beyond something we see in Victoria.”

One of the biggest aggravating factors is that Desbiens was out on bail for the first indictment, when he committed the second indictment’s crimes.

Corsi agreed in saying that totality does need to be taken into account when handing out this sentence but said he would leave that consideration in the Justice’s hands.

The first indictment happened in October 2016, when Desbiens and two other men were arrested during a traffic stop. Police pulled over the car because they suspected Desbiens, who was prohibited from driving at the time, was driving. Desbiens was not behind the wheel but police saw a gun in the side pocket of the back seat.

READ ALSO: Kevin Spacey appears at court hearing in groping case

Desbiens pleaded guilty to possession for the purpose of trafficking and to possession of a prohibited loaded semi-automatic handgun, something both the Crown and the defence call a mitigating factor.

The second indictment occurred on June 28, 2017 while Desbiens was out on recognizance for the first offence. Saanich Police found methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, cash, ammunition and a sawed-off shotgun in a car Desbiens had occupied.

Donald McKay, Desbiens’ defence lawyer, is seeking a total sentence of five years for both indictments, plus three years of probation. Desbiens has three years of time served credit which would be subtracted from the total, leaving two more years in custody and three years of probation.

Myers called his ask “a huge reach,” McKay argued that Desbiens rehabilitation has a significant role to play citing his move to the Right Living Unit in the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre.

McKay says the circumstances leading to the crimes play a significant role, stating that Desbiens was in the grip of a huge addiction with little alternatives offered to him, along with a medical condition that leaves him in so much pain some days he can not walk or dress himself.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Ojibwe man marks completion of five-day ‘healing walk’ from Hope to Saanich

Claremont Secondary students join celebration in Cordova Bay

MISSING: Saanich police search for 18-year-old last seen Sept. 9

Robyn Coker-Steel has short purple hair, frequents downtown Victoria

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Saanich police encourage safe driving habits as rain leads to pooling on roadways

Slow down, inspect vehicle ahead of driving in wet autumn weather

Victoria police seek suspect in parkade break and enter

Cycling gear, tools reported stolen from vehicle, storage locker

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Most Read