Essex County OPP Constable Given 12-Month Driving Ban After Crash

An Essex County OPP officer has been handed a 12-month driving ban after being involved in a crash while responding to an emergency.

Lakeshore OPP Constable Jamie Porto was also fined  $2,500 after being found guilty of dangerous driving causing bodily.

In October 2014, Porto was rushing to the scene of an accident and was going 178 km/h through St. Joachim when he hit another car.

No one was seriously  hurt.

In handing down the sentence, Justice Bruce Thomas said a reasonable police officer would have reduced his speed in the middle of a village.

Justice Thomas was also critical of the OPP who blamed the driver of the other car for making an illegal turn into the path of Porto's vehicle.

"This sentence must then attempt to balance the level of culpability of the offender and the need to denounce and deter with the other relevant circumstances, including the finding that Ryan Coombes (the other driver) made an illegal left turn into the path of Porto's police vehicle," ruled Justice Thomas.

"I have learned that the OPP did not commence an investigation of potential Police Act charges until after I found Jamie Porto guilty of the offence, or 26 months after the accident."

Outside the courthouse, Porto's lawyer Dan Scott said he was disappointed with everything from the conviction to the sentence.

"Justice Thomas felt it was important to send out a deterrent message to police and I think that was fulfilled when he found him guilty," said Scott.

The defence was asking for an absolute discharge.

Scott says there is no point for officers to rush to an emergency.

"Why would a police office rush to any scene now because if they are doing 25-30 over the speed limit, they meet the threshold of dangerous driving."

He says Porto feels awful because he will now have a criminal record for 10 years.

It's unknown how the driving ban will affect his capacity as an officer.

 

 

 

 

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