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“His parole had been revoked three times,” noted Justice Susan Griffin, of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia, in her May 25 reasons for decision delivered via videoconference.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

Staff member Lena Laitinen gives the wall at BoulderHouse a workout during a media tour on June 16. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
BoulderHouse raring to rock Langford

Popularity of bouldering continues to climb across Greater Victoria

The Sooke Potholes is a jewel in the community's crown. Transition Sooke hosts a town hall meeting on community growth on June 26. (Courtesy: Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke forum tackles community growth

To Grow or Not to Grow online town hall meeting set for June 26

General manager Lindsey Pomper says Sidney’s Star Cinema cannot wait welcome audiences when it reopens June 18, amid an easing of public health measures. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney’s Star Cinema raises curtain for the first time after months in the darkness

Iconic theatre to reopen at half capacity for Friday night showing

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.’s Indigenous language, art and culture

North Saanich advisor says initiative supports urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

A dogs in parks pilot study unanimously approved by Saanich council will evaluate how park space can best be shared between dog owners and non-owners alike. (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Saanich to study park-sharing strategy between those with and without pets

District-wide People, Parks and Dogs study to produce recommendations by fall

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Most Read