Banke sentenced to 18 months in jail
An Ottawa man has been sentenced to 18 months in jail after driving into a couple and killing them at a downtown bus stop.
An Ottawa judge said Simon Banke, 22, used his car as a “toy” and that his actions were “disastrous and irreversible” after killing Leo Paul, 36, and Sherianne Regnier, 35.
In her sentencing, Justice Ratushny told the court “Banke joined ranks of those drivers…often young men…who decide to drive too fast and take risks.” But added “You have been a good kid…You have a good future ahead of you.”
The Regnier’s family said the ruling sent the wrong message.
"We’re totally stunned,” said Suzanne Baker, sister of Paul Regnier. "If you’re a good kid in society and you do something bad, does that mean you don’t get punished? Is that what it is?”
"I don’t think we’re feeling justice has happened,” said Ron Lacelle, brother of Paul Regnier
The Regier’s family has launched a civil suit.
"It’s not about vengeance. It’s not about getting retribution. It’s about getting compensation,” said Russ Molot, Regnier Family Lawyer.
As part of his sentencing, Banke is also banned from driving for five years and will have to speak to teens about the consequences of dangerous driving. Justice Rutushny said he must convey the message that “a car is not a toy and that driving is not a sport.
In September 2010, Banke was behind the wheel of a car that struck and killed the couple.
They were waiting at a temporary bus stop on Albert St. at around 10:30 p.m. on September 16, 2010 when Banke sped towards them and struck them.
Leo Paul Regnier died at the scene. His wife died in hospital from her injuries days later.
The couple left behind three daughters, Sarah, 15, Jessica, 13, and Isabella, 9.
Earlier this year, Banke admitted to a judge he was driving at a “dangerously high rate of speed” the night he struck the Regniers.
With files from CTV’s Catherine Lathem.