23-yr-old who caused crash while escaping cops caught lying at sentencing

A 23-year-old who ran a red light and smashed into two vehicles in a Burnaby intersection while trying to escape police has been sentenced to one year and nine months in jail and a year’s probation for drug possession for the purpose of trafficking and failing to stop while being pursued by police.

Deven Jainesh Mani was pulled over by police on March 26, 2017 at 1:14 p.m., according to B.C. provincial court documents.

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After an officer got out of his vehicle and started approaching his car, however, Mani reversed and then sped forward around the officer and police car.

After a brief pursuit, police saw Mani blow through a red light at Canada Way and Smith Avenue, hitting two vehicles.

“When Mr. Mani’s vehicle came to a stop, he did not render assistance to the occupants of the other vehicles; rather, he ran from the scene,” states a sentencing decision by provincial court judge Reginald Harris.

The occupants of the other vehicles suffered non-serious injuries, according to court documents, and police caught Mani as he ran through a nearby lot.

On the front passenger seat of his car, they found a large package of drugs, containing baggies of cocaine and fentanyl, as well as four cell phones, $200 cash and a baseball bat.  

Fourteen months earlier, Mani had been caught with baggies of methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine after failing to stop at a Port Coquitlam stop sign.

He pleaded guilty in February to two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and one count of failing to stop while being pursued by a peace officer.

In handing down his sentence, Harris said Mani’s age, his guilty plea and the fact he has no criminal record were in his favour but there were also many aggravating factors in the case, including the large quantity of drugs found on him, the deadliness of some of the drugs, his flight from police, the fact he drove into a busy intersection without slowing or stopping, the fact that he was already facing charges and the fact his driver’s licence had been suspended at the time.

“I find the offences committed by Mr. Mani were serious.  … I also find Mr. Mani’s degree of moral responsibility to be high,” Harris stated.

“Specifically, Mr. Mani’s criminal conduct was not fuelled by a drug addiction or desperation; rather, his conduct was motivated by greed.”

Remorse erased

Mani didn’t endear himself to the judge at his sentencing hearing either.

The court was told Mani volunteered with his step-father’s soccer club, St. Columbus, at Newton Athletic Park in Surrey.

One letter of employment said he’d worked at an autobody shop, and another not only stated he was employed at a certain furniture business but suggested he was up for a promotion.

“I work extremely hard,” Mani had told the court, according to court documents. “They love me at my job.  … I’m proud of myself for the big changes I’ve made today.”

After an adjournment of the sentencing hearing, however, Crown counsel reported it had contacted the employers, and the auto body shop had said it had never heard of Mani and the furniture business had said he no longer worked there.

The Crown further reported it could find no information about the soccer club Mani purportedly volunteered for, and the individual at Surrey Parks and Rec responsible for booking fields had never heard of the club.

“I do appreciate that a guilty plea is typically an indication of remorse; however, in the circumstances any suggestion of remorse was erased when Mr. Mani falsely addressed the Court,” Harris said.

Besides his jail sentence and probation, Mani was sentenced to 80 hours of community work service after his release and handed an 11-month driving prohibition, a 10-year weapons ban and a lifetime firearms ban.

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