NANAIMO — It'll be more than half a decade behind bars for a man who led police on two high-speed chases and escaped from custody in 2015.
The sentencing hearing for 33-year-old Tyler Fong concluded Thursday, May 18 at Provincial Court in Nanaimo. He previously pleaded guilty to 18 charges, from breaking and entering to flight from police and assault with a motor vehicle.
He was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison after getting credit for time already served in custody, plus a three-year driving ban. It's roughly half of what the Crown sought and one-year-and-a-half less than what Fong's defence argued for.
Judge Ron Lamperson noted the substantial amount of convictions already on Fong's record was the most pressing aggravating factor of his decision.
Before this hearing, Fong had 67 convictions and 25 driving offences on his record.
Lamperson said Fong had “no regard for the law, the rules of the road or for public safety.”
As he read through the sentences for each individual charge, Fong's mother became visibly more distressed, taking deep breaths and crying while saying “please” over and over under her breath.
According to a psychiatric evaluation done before the hearing, Fong suffers from severe ADHD and had been self-medicating with crystal meth. As well, the report noted his childhood was marred with parental addictions, abandonment and abuse.
In a letter which Lamperson read to the court, Fong said he took responsibility for the damage he caused and the lives he put at risk. He admitted he'd known he was already in serious trouble and the time and didn't care about digging a deeper hole for himself.
Since then, he and his mother said his medication has been sorted out and he's done much better.
At the end of sentencing, Lamperson told Fong he should seriously commit to the counselling and therapy available to him in prison and not lose sight of his recovery goals, as he had in the past.
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