Man sentenced to 12 years in 2007 death of York officer
Published Thursday, June 30, 2011 1:09PM EDT
A Toronto man found guilty of manslaughter in the 2007 death of a York Regional Police officer was sentenced in a Newmarket court on Wednesday morning.
Nadeem Jiwa, 23, was sentenced to 12 years minus credit for time served, meaning he will be spending another four years and two months in a penitentiary in addition to the time he has already spent in prison. He was also given a 10 year driving ban.
Det.-Const. Robert Plunkett, 43, was killed in August 2007 when he was trying to make an arrest during an investigation into airbag thefts.
Jiwa was found guilty on April 28, 2011 after the jury deliberated for three days.
The victim's family had been hoping for a charge of first-degree murder.
"The police deserve our respect," Plunkett's widow Sonja said outside of court. "They deserve your respect. When asked to stop, you have to stop. Had Nadeem Jiwa shown just a touch of respect my husband and the father of my three children would still be here today."
Plunkett and officers were working undercover when they followed two vehicles into a residential street in Markham at about 5 a.m. on Aug. 2.
When Plunkett moved into arrest one suspect, the driver stepped on the gas, pinning the officer between the open drivers-side door and a tree.
Plunkett died a short time later in hospital from his injuries.
The 22-year veteran of the police force was a husband and father of three teenagers.
He had earned a bravery award in 1998 for rescuing a senior from a frozen lake and worked with the Special Olympics for more than 20 years.
York Regional Police Chief Eric Jolliffee said he was pleased that Jiwa received the sentence that he was given.
Jiwa's lawyer said his client was surprised by the sentence. Laurence Cohen would not say whether they planned to appeal the decision.
A second man in the case, Baseer Mohammed Yousaf-Zai pleaded guilty in 2007 to theft over $5,000, possession of stolen property, two counts of theft and breaching a court order in connection with the case.
The sentencing comes just one day after the death of York Regional Police officer Garrett Styles.
Styles, 32, was hit and dragged by a van driven by a 15-year-old unlicenced driver after he pulled the vehicle over early Tuesday morning.
"My attention is now turning to the Styles family and all the members of the York Regional Police at this most difficult time," Sonja Plunkett said from the courthouse on Wednesday.
Styles is the 10th York Region police officer to die on the job.