TORONTO -- Ontario's top court has upheld a 12-year sentence for a young man who crushed a York Regional police officer to death with a stolen car.

Nadeem Jiwa, 24, was convicted of manslaughter in the 2007 death of Det.-Const. Robert Plunkett.

Plunkett and a partner were trying to arrest Jiwa, who had just stolen airbags and a car, when Jiwa reversed the car and pinned Plunkett to a tree, killing him.

Jiwa argued that the trial judge shouldn't have allowed a video tribute to Plunkett that included music and images of his grieving widow to be played at his sentencing hearing.

The Ontario Court of Appeal judges noted that Jiwa's defence lawyer consented to the video being played, and that it is clear the trial judge wasn't "unduly swayed" by it.

In upholding the sentence, the Appeal Court noted that although Jiwa was a youthful first offender, he was already on bail for airbag theft charges and didn't stop to help Plunkett, instead trying to run away.

Jiwa argued that he didn't know Plunkett was a police officer, but the Ontario Court of Appeal disagreed, saying even though Plunkett was in plainclothes, he was shouting, "police, police, police."

Plunkett shouted so loudly that someone inside a nearby house could hear it, the court said.

"The suggestion that Mr. Jiwa thought Det.-Const. Plunkett was only 'winded' after being smashed into a tree is ludicrous, in my view," the Appeal Court panel wrote.

"It is inconceivable that any driver could fail to appreciate the harm that would be caused by such a collision."

The court also upheld a 10-year driving prohibition for Jiwa to start at the end of his sentence.