Brent Parent and his girlfriend arrived at the New Westminster courthouse during the course of his trial in the 2008 death of Abbotsford resident Silas O’Brien. Parent is appealing a 12-year driving ban.

Silas O’Brien death driver appeals 12-year driving ban

Lawyer argues penalty will make it tough for Brent Parent to find work

Brent Parent was in the B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver on Monday hoping to reduce his driving ban.

Parent, 43, is appealing his 12-year driving ban which begins after he is released from jail.

His lawyer will argue that the ban is too long and will make it difficult for Parent to find work.

In May 2012, a B.C. Supreme Court judge sentenced the Langley man to five and a half years behind bars and a 12-year driving ban for the 2008 hit and run death of 21-year-old Silas O’Brien.

In front of a full courtroom in New Westminster, Judge Terence Schultes said he wanted to strike a balance between the Crown’s request to see Parent go away for eight years and the defense’s suggestion of three to four years.

He also hoped that Parent would take advantage of anger management counselling that will be made available to him in jail.

Originally, Parent sought to have his sentence overturned and his conviction overturned as well. He filed his appeal with the Court of Appeal on June 4, 2012.

After Parent was sentenced, O’Brien’s father Rodger spoke to the media, saying the sentence was what he expected. Parent has 64 driving convictions and five driving suspensions. O’Brien said at the time that he didn’t think Parent would appeal the sentence.

In court, Parent said he was very sorry for “ruining a lot of people’s lives” but then asked that the judge not put him away for a “long time.”

In the early morning hours of March 13, 2008, O’Brien, and his two best friends were on their way to a Seattle airport, looking forward to their first vacation together to Hawaii.

Parent, who was driving a diesel Ford F350, became enraged when he thought that the Chevy Silverado O’Brien was riding in had deliberately flashed its high beams at him on 16 Avenue.

The judge said Parent refused to let them pass, causing the pickup carrying O’Brien and his friends off the road and into a ditch. Parent then returned to the scene, where he swerved towards the young men who were standing on the shoulder of the road, striking and killing O’Brien.

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