POLITICS

Man sentenced to 1 month in jail for Stanley Cup riot role a year ago

06/11/2012 01:33 EDT | Updated 08/11/2012 05:12 EDT
VANCOUVER - A one-month jail sentence has been handed a 20-year-old Surrey, B.C., man for his role in the Stanley Cup riot a year ago.

Emmanuel Alviar was also given 16 months probation and ordered to perform 160 hours of community service after pleading guilty in March to participating in a riot.

In addition, he must send apology letters to Vancouver's mayor and police chief.

Alviar kicked garbage at a burning vehicle, helping rock another car and used a stick to smash windows in the Telus building during the violence last June 15 after the Boston Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.

The Crown was asking for four months in jail, while Alviar's lawyer was hoping for a conditional sentence, which would mean no jail time.

But in handing down the sentence, Provincial Court Judge Rich Harris said general deterrence is needed in a case like this, considering Vancouver has suffered two Stanley Cup riots.

Alviar's lawyer Gary Botting defended the request for the conditional sentence, noting his client had no prior criminal record.

"Basically that would give him the chance to make recompense in the community, whereas in jail, (that's) not going to happen," Botting said. "Too often we put people in jail, because that's the first response."

Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association Executive Director, Charles Gauthier, said the sentence is in line with the organization's expectations.

He said he doesn't feel sorry for those who go to jail for their roles in the destruction.

"Balance that with the victims who, you know, not only had property damage, but have been traumatized by this event," he said. "Many of them have made the decision not to work downtown anymore. Not a lot, but we are hearing some of those stories."

Seven other people have pleaded guilty to various offences including mischief, break and enter and assaulting a police officer as a result of the riot, in which hundred of people broke windows, looted stores and set cars on fire.

Police have recommended close to 600 charges against about 200 suspected rioters so far.

The Crown, which makes the final decision on laying criminal charges in B.C., has approved 276 charges against 104 people.

Police say they expect more charges to be laid.