NEWS

Teen driver in toddler death avoids prison term

06/05/2012 11:56 EDT | Updated 08/05/2012 05:12 EDT

Quebec driver Brandon Pardi today received a conditional sentence of two years less a day to be served in the community, including one year of house arrest, for his role in the death of three-year-old Bianca Leduc in 2007.

Pardi is also forbidden from driving for three years, one of several conditions in the sentence delivered Tuesday at the Valleyfield courthouse southwest of Montreal.

The victim's family was visibly upset, with mother Nadine Leduc storming out of the courtroom in tears after the decision was read out loud.

Pardi's mother clung to her son, now 22, who avoids any time in prison and will be able to work during his community sentence.

Outside the courtroom defence lawyer Pierre Joyal said justice has been served, even if Pardi does not go to prison.

"If anyone would take the time to listen, to read the facts of the case, each case stands on their own merits," Joyal told a throng of reporters in the hallway.

"This case, the kid was not involved with alcohol, there were no drugs. He admitted he committed a mistake."

Pardi was convicted in December 2011 of dangerous driving causing death after he ran over Bianca Leduc in the quiet suburb of Île Perrot, west of Montreal.

The fatal accident happened on Pardi's 18th birthday, on Hallowe'en night.

Pardi and a friend were driving in separate cars down a residential street when they lost control and collided. Pardi's car careened onto a nearby lawn, where Leduc was playing with her babysitter. The three-year-old toddler was crushed under the car.

Pardi's case drew national attention because of his legal fight to be tried as a minor, a battle that went all the way to Canada's top court.

The Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear his case, and Pardi went to trial last year in adult court.

His friend, who was 17 at the time, was acquitted after being charged with dangerous driving causing death.

The Crown has 30 days to decide whether to appeal the sentence.

MORE:cbcNews