A Saskatoon man who lost his daughter in a fatal crash in 2014 said the laws for young offenders are breeding life-long criminals.
David Wensley was appalled after one of the women responsible for the deadly wreck walked free last week without any additional jail time for breaching her probation.
Wensley questioned how young offenders can change their ways when they’re not held accountable.
“She knows the system now. She’s been treated the same way for five, six years now,” he said.
“People just don’t become criminals overnight; it’s becoming a lifestyle.”
The woman, who was 17 years old at the time, cannot be named because of her age.
She played a role as a passenger when the stolen vehicle she was in hit a car carrying three teenagers at the intersection of 22nd Street West and Avenue M on May 5, 2014.
James (J.P) Haughey, 17, and Sarah Wensley, 17, were killed in the crash; a third passenger survived.
All three were students at Bethlehem High School in Saskatoon.
The driver, 21-year-old Cheyann Chrystal Peeteetuce entered a guilty plea in 2015 for more than a dozen counts.
Peeteetuce was sentenced to six years in jail.
The teenage passenger pleaded guilty to five charges associated with the crash. She was sentenced to the maximum three-year sentence under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
She was in Saskatoon court last week for breaking conditions related to the deadly crash.
Wensley has followed the court proceedings closely, and attended the hearing.
“She actually looked at me, smiled and waved at me,” Wensley said, adding at first he thought perhaps the woman didn’t know who he was.
Wensley said the judge then proceeded to compliment the accused on her intelligence, adding she hoped the young offender wouldn’t be back in the system.
“When it’s all over, this young offender was actually waving her hand in the air shouting, ‘I’m free, I’m free,’ while we’re making eye contact,” he said.
The father continues to advocate for restorative justice, and feels the system has failed his family. He said no matter what, he’ll appear at all future court hearings—even those unrelated to his daughter’s death—for the women convicted of killing her.
“I’m always going to be there. Whenever they’re in trouble, I plan on being there,” he said.
“It’s my responsibility. I was proud of my daughter, and I’ll always be proud of my daughter and I feel I have to do something for her.”