Defense only wants four years for driver who killed mother and two children

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On that clear night in August 2018, Paul Manzon was running along the highway in Brampton. 50 in his shiny blue bloated Corvette, showing off for his date, oblivious to the safety of everyone around him.

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Five seconds before hitting the left-turning KIA SUV, it was traveling at 163 km/h in the 80 km/h zone.

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The horrific collision killed driver Allison Jones, 47, her son Miles, 7, and his daughter’s friend, Julia Riccobene, 12. His daughter Lily was seriously injured, as was ManzonRhonda Gary’s passenger.

Was this just a momentary “terrible decision” made by an otherwise good person who should be punished with only four years in prison? Or is the death of three innocent people by a dangerous driver who should have known worth 10 to 12 years behind bars?

Superior Court Judge Nancy Dennison sentenced the Caledon man in January on three counts of dangerous driving causing death and two causing bodily harm harmrejecting the argument that it was a momentary error in judgement.

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Nope within reason a person would drive at 163 km/h on a four-lane highway near an intersection where cars were present,” she says.

Julia Riccobene, 12, seen here, was killed with Allison Jones and her son Miles, 7, when their Kia SUV was hit by a speeding Corvette in August 2018.
Julia Riccobene, 12, seen here, was killed with Allison Jones and her son Miles, 7, when their Kia SUV was hit by a speeding Corvette in August 2018.

But the judge acquitted Manzon on five charges of criminal negligence, finding that his conduct fell short of the higher fault standard of “blind or recklesscontempt for the security others.

In closing submissions on sentencing on Friday, prosecutor Shazin Karim urged Dennison to sentence Manzon to 10 to 12 years in prison and a five-year driving ban for breaking up two families and devastating their community – reading 30 heartbreaking statements from parents , relatives and friends of the children. many in tears while 55 others were filed with the court.

“Their families have been changed forever,” Crown said. “They are serving a life sentence.”

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Manzon is not a young, first-time offender, she reminded the court. He was 45 at the time and had a dated criminal record, which includes two impaired driving convictions.

“Driving is a privilege,” Karim said. “Mr. Manzon has already been found guilty of breaching this privilege twice. This is the third time he has appeared in court.

Her own passenger must have told her to slow down more than once, she said, and he must be held accountable for the dangerous speeding that stole three lives.

Manzon’s lawyer, Craig Bottomley, insisted the range suggested by the Crown was too harsh.

“You can’t convict Mr. Manzon as if he were a drunk driver,” he said.

No sentence can repair the “absolutely tragic loss” of the mother and her two children, he said, but a four-year sentence with a 10-year driving ban is appropriate in this case.

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Any time will be more difficult for Manzon due to his health issues, including asthma, sleep apnea and pre-collision PTSD, his attorney noted.


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Bottomley quoted at length from Manzon’s guilt letter to the court.

“Many days I wish it was me who died instead of a mother and children,” he wrote. “Most nights I can’t sleep, I feel depressed, I stay alone and spend time with my dogs.”

“I am truly sorry for the family members who lost loved ones in this accident. I know there is nothing I can ever do or say to make things right,” he continued. “Words cannot express the guilt and remorse I feel over the events of August 4 which claimed the lives of three people and devastated two families.

His attorney insisted his client had good prospects for rehabilitation: Manzon works tirelessly in community charities for children and mental health causes and cares for her elderly father.

You sentence a human being to his first detention,” Bottomley explained. “You condemn a good person who made a terrible decision for a very brief moment.

But it wasn’t brief – witnesses had seen it accelerate before the fatal collision.

And just four years for causing the senseless and preventable deaths of three people? How could that be enough?

Dennison is expected to serve his sentence in November.

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