R v. Gould

In Fish Cases, Forfeiture, Offences on (Updated )

This was a sentencing case involving two brothers who pleaded guilty of unlawful possession of salmon. Both brothers were fined $1,000 dollars. In the court also ordered the forfeiture of the boat owned by one brother with a value of $12,000 dollars.

Upon appeal, the court set aside the forfeiture of the vessel and substituted an additional fine of $500 dollars on the boat owner. His reasons were as follows:

1. The discretionary power to forfeit given to the court by section 72.1 of the Fisheries Act should be exercised with regard to the general principles of sentencing set out in section 718 of the Criminal Code;.

2. The reference to "abuse of a position of trust" in section 718.2(a)(iii) of the Criminal Code was not meant to apply to a fisher misusing a commercial fishing licence;

3. By focusing too much on the issue of deterrence, the judge overlooked the principle that a sentence should be proportionate to the gravity of the offence and the degree of responsibility of the offender. The judge also overlooked the requirement of consistency.

4. Forfeiture without reference to other principles can also lead to inequities resulting from offenders using valuable equipment receiving a larger penalty than others.