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Time served before trial helps reduce sentence

A five-year jail sentence is being reduced to four because the accused spent 18 months in custody awaiting trial.

The Court of Appeal has agreed that Eric James Fike can appeal to have his sentence reduced.

Fike was arrested on September 24, 2010 and remained in custody for approximately 18 months until his conviction, in Prince George. On March 14, 2012, he pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and three counts of possession of prohibited firearms with ammunition and was sentenced to three concurrent nine‑month sentences in relation to each drug possession conviction, after having been credited for pre‑sentence custody in relation to those charges of nine months on a 1:1 basis (18 months); and three concurrent 51-month jail sentences (to be served consecutively to the drug charges) in relation to the firearms offences, after having been credited for pre‑sentence custody of nine months on a 1:1 basis in relation to those offences. The actual sentence imposed was therefore 60 months’ imprisonment.

Fike sought to have the time spent in custody before trial applied at a 1:1.5 ratio, rather than the 1:1.

The Court of Appeal ruled allowed the appeal “to the extent only that the sentence on (firearms) counts be reduced to 48 months with credit granted of 21 months (12 months of which are attributed to those counts) for pre‑sentence custody.”

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