Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Appeal court adds 18 months to prison term of B.C. man who abused intimate partner

The trial was heard in Surrey provincial court

A higher court has tacked an extra 18 months onto the prison term of a man who abused his “intimate partner” after the Crown appealed a Surrey provincial court judge’s sentence.

David Welesley Somers was convicted in Surrey on Oct. 6, 2020 of 10 crimes involving repeated acts of violence against his partner and the judge sentenced him to eight years and nine months but reduced the aggregate sentence to four years and six months, less time served.

The Crown appealed that sentence, arguing it was “demonstrably unfit” on grounds it failed to take into account the severity of Somer’s crimes, which involved assault with a weapon, uttering a death threat, unlawful confinement, slapping the woman’s face and choking her.

The court heard he held a knife to her wrist and threatened to cut off her hand.

READ ALSO: Appeal court upholds Surrey judge’s finding that man on student visa sexually assaulted teen

The court also heard that by the time Somers was tried on these offences he already had 50 criminal convictions and spend most of his adult life – he was 35 at the time of this trial – going in and out of prison for robbery, assault, assault with a weapon, assault causing bodily harm, and assaulting a peace officer.

“His parole had been revoked three times,” noted Justice Susan Griffin, of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia, in her May 25 reasons for decision delivered via videoconference. “His longest sentence was six years for the robbery and weapons offences.”

The Crown prosecutor argued for a sentence of 13.5 years, reduced to nine or 10 for time served, while the defence argue for a sentence of 36 months and five days, less credit for time served, plus three years of probation.

“When abuse occurs in the complainant’s own home and family environment, the complainant’s sense of personal security can be totally destroyed,” Griffin noted in her reasons.

READ ALSO: Surrey hotel room stabber loses appeal of his conviction

The Surrey judge in passing his aggregate sentence ordered that Somers serve two years concurrent to his other crimes on an attempt to obstruct justice conviction. Griffin changed this to an 18-month consecutive sentence.

“In my view, a fit aggregate sentence given the circumstances of the respondent and his offences would be six years’ imprisonment, before credit for time served,” Griffin decided.

Appeal Court Justices David Frankel and Christopher Grauer concurred.

CourtSurrey

Just Posted

Langley Mustangs high jumper Aiden Grout, seen here in McLeod Athletic Park in Langley in 2019, has just qualified for several top international competitions, including the Olympic trials. (Photo courtesy Vid Wadhwani)
VIDEO: With one jump, Langley Mustangs high jumper Aiden Grout has qualified for three international competitions

Maple Ridge resident records new personal best at McLeod Athletic Park in Langley

Maple Ridge’s Eileen Robinson celebrated international Trails Day by hitting the Trans-Canada Trail in her hometown. It’s marked on the first Saturday of June, and encourages people to get out and use and enjoy their local trails, which both Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows have many. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Celebrating Trails Day by getting outdoors

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Shail Wolf admires the ancient tree the protesters have dubbed the grandmother. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
OUR VIEWS: Old-growth can kicked down the road

Latest deferral avoids a difficult conversation about how, when to stop logging our oldest forests

Maple Ridge brothers Paul and Johnnie Walker hit the trails at Rolley Lake, just across the border into Mission. Johnnie did the modelling both with the downed tree and at the waterfalls.(Special to The News)
SHARE: Discovering fun on Rolley trails

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 13

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read