Appeal court lowers sentence for teen who killed Saskatchewan restaurant owner

LA RONGE, Sask. – An Appeal Court has reduced the manslaughter sentence of one of three young people who beat a restaurant owner to death in northern Saskatchewan.

The court says a nine-year adult sentence given to the offender, who was 17 at the time, is to be replaced with seven years.

Simon Grant died in hospital of blunt force trauma after he was attacked with a baseball bat at Louisiana’s Bar-B-Que Restaurant in La Ronge in 2017.

Court heard that Grant had taken in the troubled teen and tried to help him turn his life around.

The Appeal Court said the young man was central in a plan with the two co-accused to rob and attack the restaurant owner.

However, it said the trial judge did not take into account several factors, including that he pleaded guilty, offered heartfelt apologies to Grant’s family and had an extremely difficult childhood.

“He grew up with little or no family structure or similar supports and he had lived in a state of great impermanence, suffering various kinds of abuse and being plagued by drug and alcohol problems. (He) had essentially lived by his own wits since a young age.”

The two co-accused were also sentenced for manslaughter. Austin Bird, who was 18 at the time, received a seven-year term. And a boy who was 14 was given a youth sentence of three years.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 30, 2021.

TORONTO STAR