VANCOUVER — The first person convicted in Vancouver’s Stanley Cup riot was sentenced Thursday to 17 months in jail after admitting to joining the mob that left a path of destruction throughout the city’s downtown core.
Ryan Dickinson, 20, pleaded guilty to participating in a riot, as well as breaching bail conditions from an unrelated assault charge.
He admitted to using a road barricade and a newspaper box to damage an unmarked police car, and then later tossing a mannequin and a newspaper box at the window of a clothing store several blocks away.
The Crown had asked for as much as 18 months in jail, arguing that everyone who participated that night must be punished for all of the damage the riot caused, regardless of their individual level of involvement.
The Crown labelled Dickinson an “instigator,” casting him as a violent, angry young man who appeared on video presented in court to be enjoying the violence.
Provincial court judge Malcolm MacLean rejected Dickinson’s suggestion that he was merely “caught up in the moment.”
“Mr. Dickinson’s participation was serious and involved a number of conscious and deliberate decisions on his part, starting with his decision to go downtown knowing it was a beach of his bail,” MacLean said.
“The videos (presented in court) show someone with more than a momentary lapse of judgement. … The video shows there were times that Mr. Dickinson could have walked away, but he did not.”
The Crown had asked for 15 to 18 months for the rioting charge and an additional one to three months for breaching bail conditions related to the bail breach. His lawyer asked for a year.
The judge sentenced Dickinson to 16 months for the riot charge and an additional month for the bail breach. With time served, he has 13 and a half months left in his sentence.
After he is released from jail, he’ll be on probation for two years, MacLean ruled.
Dickinson sat beside his lawyer wearing a red jail uniform as the judge laid out his sentence.
Dickinson’s lawyer said the young man was the product of a troubled upbringing in a broken home, and he said his client was remorseful and is looking to turn his life around.
Dickinson, who has been in custody since last December, wrote an apology to the court, which was read during a sentencing hearing on Tuesday.
“I am writing you this so I can have the chance to explain to you in my own words that I am sorry for my unexplainable actions that took place during the Stanley Cup riot,” the letter said.
“I’m ashamed and deeply embarrassed. I was caught up in the moment. I made some very bad decisions that day and I am willing to take full responsibility for my actions.”