FASD & the Justice System

R. v. Dennis 2013 BCCA 153

Appeal by Aboriginal offender following guilty plea for welfare fraud, falsifying a document and perjury – joint submission for 1 year CSO plus probation - effect of sentence was meant lifetime ineligibility for benefits - fresh evidence about offender’s background a low functioning person, including significantly impaired intellectual and memory functioning, possible brain injury and likely FASD – joint submission did not adequately develop offender’s background, Aboriginal status and serious cognitive deficits – mitigating factors are guilty plea, lack of a criminal record, also Gladue factors including early death of parents from alcohol-related causes, foster care, FASD and cognitive deficits – conditional discharge substituted.