Sentence in assault case reduced to avoid immigration trouble: appeal court


Sentence in assault case reduced to avoid immigration trouble: appeal court

The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, May 24, 2016 1:20PM EDT

TORONTO — An Ontario appeal court has reduced the jail sentence of a man convicted of assault by a day in order to sidestep a threat to his status as permanent resident.

Court documents show Nigel Frater pleaded guilty last year to assault and two counts of breach of probation and was sentenced to six months in jail, which he had already served while awaiting trial.

He was also sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to submit a DNA sample.

Frater launched the appeal after receiving a letter from Citizenship and Immigration Canada that said he was potentially inadmissible as a permanent resident because he had been convicted of an offence with a jail sentence of more than six months.

The three-judge appeal panel says it wasn’t known at the time of sentencing that the penalty imposed would have a « potentially devastating immigration consequence » for Frater, a Jamaican citizen and permanent resident of Canada.

As a result, the judges have agreed to reduce his sentence to six months less a day.

They say prosecutors did not object to the request, and found the revised sentence to be « within the acceptable range for this offence and offender. »

Court documents show Frater, 53, immigrated to Canada in 1989 and has lived here ever since. He is married to a Canadian citizen, with whom he has four children.