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Thursday, February 22, 2024

B.C. 14-year-old who introduced handgun to high school as a result of he ‘thought it will be cool’ sentenced Categorical Instances

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A Surrey teenager who introduced a loaded handgun to high school as a result of he “thought it will be cool to indicate individuals” is now serving a six-month custodial sentence locally for the offence.

The teenager – recognized in courtroom paperwork solely by the initials S.G. as a result of he’s a younger offender – pleaded responsible to possessing a loaded restricted firearm with out being a holder of an authorization or licence.

The 14-year-old – who was 13 and in Grade 8 on the time of the offence – was sentenced in Surrey provincial courtroom in December, however the decide’s causes weren’t posted on-line till this week. 

The offence

Decide Satinder Sidhu’s resolution summarizes an agreed assertion of information about what occurred on Nov. 18, 2022, when S.G. introduced the weapon to high school. The identify of the college is redacted all through the choice.

In accordance with the choice, the gun – a Smith & Wesson mannequin SD 9VE, nine-millimetre handgun – belonged to S.G.’s father, who lawfully owned and possessed 25 firearms on the time of the incident.

S.G. took the gun from his father’s secure, with out the person’s data or consent, the day earlier than he introduced it to high school.

The teenager carried the gun in his backpack all through the day, taking it out within the washroom within the morning to indicate a good friend.

In accordance with the choice, S.G. let his good friend maintain the gun and take an image with it. S.G. additionally took video of himself holding the weapon and posted it on social media.

After lunch, he texted the good friend to say he had shot the gun, and the good friend later supplied the college’s principal with a video that appeared to indicate S.G. discharging the weapon into the air.

“Though the admissions of reality don’t expressly state that S.G. discharged the firearm, I’m happy that he did so,” Sidhu’s resolution reads.

“Primarily based on the information which might be earlier than the courtroom, it’s the solely cheap inference to be drawn.”

Round 2 p.m., college officers discovered that S.G. was in possession of a firearm. The teenager was faraway from class, and the college’s principal situated the weapon “tucked within the inside pocket of the backpack,” in accordance with the choice.

“When questioned as to why S.G. would convey the gun to high school, S.G. replied that he had thought it will be cool to indicate individuals,” the choice reads.

On the time of the offence, S.G. had a minor’s possession licence, permitting him to borrow non-restricted firearms and use them underneath sure situations. The handgun he took to high school was a restricted weapon.

‘Important’ threat of hurt

S.G. was expelled from his college after the incident, however he has since been allowed to attend a unique college in Surrey, the place his tutorial efficiency has improved considerably, in accordance with the choice.

The decide famous that S.G. has “taken full duty” for the offence and dedicated himself to main a “prosocial life” because the incident.

He has a superb dwelling life and an in depth relationship together with his father, with whom he had spent appreciable time on the gun vary earlier than the offence. Whereas his household was disillusioned in his behaviour, they’ve remained supportive of him, in accordance with the choice.

These particulars – plus his early responsible plea, his lack of any earlier felony report and his compliance with bail situations – all served as mitigating components in Sidhu’s evaluation of S.G.’s sentence.

There have been quite a few aggravating components, nevertheless.

“Though there doesn’t look like any malicious or nefarious purpose in S.G. bringing the gun to high school, I’m unable to agree with the proposition that the offence and the choice to take the gun to high school was impulsive,” the choice reads.

“S.G.’s feedback within the pre-sentence report undermined any suggestion of impulsivity in his conduct. Somewhat, his feedback exhibit that he deliberate to take the handgun to high school and had a objective in doing so. His actions had been deliberate and supposed to realize that objective.”

The deliberate nature of his conduct, together with the inherent hazard of bringing a weapon to high school, the emotional misery the college group suffered and the truth that – as an skilled gun consumer – he would have identified his conduct was unsafe, all contributed to Sidhu’s willpower that the case was “distinctive.”

Crown prosecutors had been pushing for the “distinctive” designation, which is required for courts to impose a custodial sentence.

The defence sought an absolute or conditional discharge of the case, and not using a custodial sentence. The Crown requested for six months in custody, to be served locally.

Sidhu agreed with the Crown’s evaluation, discovering that solely a custodial sentence would “obtain the aim and rules of sentencing.”

“The group would discover it surprising that a youngster would take his father’s handgun and ammunition from a locked secure with out consent; conceal the loaded handgun in a backpack; take the gun to his highschool, which has over 1,800 college students and workers; present different college students the handgun and go the loaded firearm to a different; shoot a bullet from the handgun; after which, conceal the gun once more in his backpack, which he took to his courses,” the choice reads.

“The circumstances are disturbing, and to say that the chance of hurt to others by the younger particular person’s conduct was vital is an understatement. Having a loaded firearm in a public place, like a faculty, is a really harmful endeavour. It strikes concern within the coronary heart of scholars, dad and mom and the group members, significantly in a local weather the place firearms in faculties are now not remoted occasions. The circumstances of his offence are so aggravated that any lesser sanction than a custodial sentence would fail to mirror societal values.”

Following his six-month sentence, S.G. should serve six months of probation. There are quite a few situations connected to each the sentence and the probation, together with a ban on possessing something outlined as a weapon underneath the Legal Code.

The decide made two exceptions to this weapons ban. First, S.G. is allowed to hold a kirpan, a small dagger carried by Sikhs as a logo of their religion. Second, he’s allowed to own weapons whereas practising gatka, a martial artwork, underneath the supervision of an grownup. 

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