CASE LAW - R v Munden
Joseph Munden and Ephrahim Barnett used to be neighbours, did not care for each other and were not on good terms. May 8, 2019 found the two at the intersection of 4th Avenue North and Proctor Street in Williams Lake. Mr. Barnett was riding his bicycle southbound on 4th and Mr. Munden turned from eastbound on Proctor to northbound on 4th.
Mr. Munden accelerated directly at Mr. Barnett, striking him and throwing him with significant force into the parking lot adjacent to the sidewalk.
Following the collision, Mr. Munden drove his vehicle onto the sidewalk on 4th Avenue, narrowly missing a parked car before returning to the road and driving away. Mr. Munden did not stop his vehicle or even slow down before leaving the scene, despite being aware or reckless as to whether or not Mr. Barnett was injured. Much of the interaction between Mr. Munden and Mr. Barnett was caught on dashboard camera footage obtained from a vehicle parked on 4th Avenue North.
Mr. Barnett was injured as a result of the collision. During the trial, he described suffering broken fingers; injuries to his hip, knees and ankle; a bruised back and road rash. He suggested that surgery was required to repair some of the injuries, although he provided no specifics. He also described feeling paranoid and afraid to ride his bicycle.
At the conclusion of the police investigation into the incident, Mr. Munden was charged with three counts under the Criminal Code:
- Assault with Weapon
- Operating a Motor Vehicle in a Manner Dangerous to the Public and Causing Bodily Harm
- Failing to Remain at the Scene of an Accident
Judge P.D. Whyte found Mr. Munden guilty of all counts and imposed the following penalties:
- For the offence of Dangerous Driving Causing Bodily Harm, I sentence you to a 15 month term of imprisonment, plus the mandatory $1000.00 fine.
- For the offence of Assault with Weapon, I sentence you to a six month term of imprisonment, to be served concurrent to the sentence for Dangerous Driving Causing Bodily Harm.
- For the offence of Failing to Stop at the Scene of an Accident and Offer Assistance, I sentence you to a six month term of imprisonment, to be served consecutive to the other two offences, plus the mandatory $1000.00 fine.
The total term of imprisonment is 21 months, the fines total $2,000 and a driving prohibition of two years was also imposed.
This case was called to my attention by a DriveSmartBC newsletter reader who was concerned that the penalty for Mr. Munden's actions was not severe enough.
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