A 26-year-old Toronto man has been sentenced to two years less a day in jail, three years probation, 240 hours community service and a ten-year driving ban which will begin upon release in connection to a car crash that killed his best friend and critically injured another passenger.
Galeeb Abau-Jabeen hugged his parents, sister and other family members who were visibly upset, before being handcuffed and led away from a University Avenue courtroom on Friday. In April, a jury found Abau-Jabeen guilty of criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm.
It was November 28, 2016 just before 10 p.m. when Abau-Jabeen was speeding along Bloor Street east of Sherbourne and lost control of his car striking a light standard at the corner of Bloor and Parliament streets, killing his best friend, 25-year-old Mohammad Mohammad, who was in the backseat and critically injuring the passenger who was sitting next to him, 20-year-old Elif Gozgoz.
Neveen Moukbel, who was also a passenger in the car and survived the crash testified during the trial.
She told the court she warned Abau-Jabeen to slow down but he didn’t heed her warning. Court heard he was travelling 85 kilometres an hour in a 40 kilometre an hour zone and had 30 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood despite the fact Abau-Jabeen was a G2 driver and was not allowed to have any alcohol before driving.
Madam Justice Wailan Low said Friday, “The accident was a direct result of him showing off and driving at high speeds. The accident was clearly foreseeable.”
She also said, however, that she is satisfied that Abau-Jabeen has taken responsibility for his actions and believes he is genuinely remorseful.
The judge said she considered the crown’s submission for a sentence of five to seven years in a penitentiary but in the end, decided to give Abau-Jabeen two years less a day in jail along with the other stipulations.
She said while the sentence should denounce the actions of the offender and deter others, it should still encourage rehabilitation.
Court heard that Abau-Jabeen has no prior convictions.
“Driving is a pervasive activity in this country. Automobiles, however, have the ability to become instruments of carnage,” said Low. “The incident and tragic outcome had had a sobering effect on Mr. Abau-Jabeen but a young man has died and a young woman has suffered significant injury.”
Mohammad’s brother and sister, whose victim impact statements were read out in court during a sentencing hearing in September, did not attend the hearing.
Aliya Hassan, Mohammad’s sister wrote that their mother was killed by a car bomb when she was 13-years-old.
She said that two years later, their father moved them to Canada before he tragically died of cancer three years later.
“He was like my dad after my dad died. He provided a lot of advice and guidance in my life. I feel sad thinking why this has happened to us,” wrote Hassan.
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