This is an appeal from a sentence imposed on the appellant for neglect of animals pursuant to section 446(5) of the Criminal Code, as well as possession of stolen property, and driving a stolen vehicle.
The appellant operated a modest farm operation and a motor vehicle wrecking yard. The latter operation was not a permitted use for the land that was zoned as agricultural land. When police investigated the property, they found the appellant in possession of a number of stolen items, as well as unregistered guns that were not properly stored. Further, some of the animals on the farm property had been neglected. Lastly, while on bail, the appellant was found driving a stolen vehicle.
The court determined that the trial judge erred in principle by imposing the sentence in part on the basis that the appellant had committed other offences in earlier years while operating the wrecking yard. The appellant pleaded guilty to specific facts supporting the pleas, and did not admit to any other offences. Thus, the court finds that the sentence for the possession charges are excessive. Also, the court finds that the probation terms were primarily imposed for punitive rather than rehabilitative purposes, and was not satisfied that the appellant required probation.
The court strikes out the probation term. The sentences for possession are reduced. The order under section 446(5) stands, except that it will be for a period of one year and will only prohibit the appellant from owning animals or birds.
Source: Case Law