A North Delta woman who killed a Surrey woman while driving drunk was sentenced in Surrey provincial court Friday to 37 months in prison and has also been prohibited from driving for eight years.
Outside court, the victim's mom noted that given Canada's justice system, Natasha Leigh Warren will likely serve only about one sixth of that sentence, or less than seven months, before getting parole.
"She will serve what we feel is very little jail time for taking the life of an innocent young woman," said Markita Kaulius, the mother of 22-year-old Kassandra Kaulius. "We had hoped, because of the severity of circumstances of this crime that there would be a stronger more appropriate sentence handed down. We hoped that our daughter Kassandra's loss of life would be represented, and that justice would be served."
Warren, 35, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death, failing to remain at the scene of a crash and driving with a blood alcohol content over the legal limit causing death in connection with the May 3, 2011 collision that killed Kassandra Kaulius.
Warren was drunk when she ran a red light at 152nd Street and 64th Avenue and slammed her company van into the driver's side of Kaulius' BMW at 103 kilometres an hour. She then tried to hide from police in a nearby vacant lot, but got caught. Crown prosecutor Crichton Pike argued for a 42-month prison term while defence lawyer Mark Cacchioni argued for 25 months.
Judge Gurmail Gill found Warren to be "genuinely remorseful" and decided her crime was out of character. Nevertheless, he noted, she has caused harm that "can't be put into words."
"The continuing loss cannot be adequately measured or described," Gill said.
"Too many lives have been senselessly taken at the hands of drinking drivers."
Gill sentenced Warren to 34 months for dangerous driving causing death and three months consecutive to that for running away from the crash scene.
Outside court, Markita Kaulius noted that a "2,000-plus pound weapon on wheels" does more damage to a human being than does a gun or knife. "We feel the Criminal Code of Canada and the court system does not take this type of crime as seriously as it should," she told reporters.
"Our daughter Kassandra was just one of the 1,074 people killed in 2011 in Canada. Another 63,000 people were left injured. All could have been so preventable! These innocent victims deserved so much more value be put on their lives from our legal system."
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