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Serial impaired driver sentenced to 8 years

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A St. Thomas, Ont. man was sentenced to eight years in prison on Monday after being found guilty of his fourth and fifth impaired driving charge.

The court heard that Shawn Norris, 61, had been hooked on prescription drugs on the day he drove his Hyundai into oncoming traffic along Highbury Avenue on Oct. 7, 2019.

The head-on crash killed Penny Kay, 68, and injured her husband Paul, both of Sparta.

Norris was found guilty last August on four counts including impaired driving causing death, impaired driving causing bodily harm, dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

In handing down her sentence of eight years in prison, Justice Patricia Moore said, “Mr. Norris chose to consume drugs that were not prescribed to him.”

She continued, “Mr. Norris was repeatedly warned of the dangers.”

This was not Norris’ first brush with the law, as he had already been convicted on three other impaired driving charges.

The court heard that Norris suffers from depression and mental health issues.

Along with the eight year sentence, Norris was also handed a lifetime driving prohibition.

“In this case the enormous loss of Penny Kay on the lives of her husband, children and grandchildren is immeasurable,” Moore said.  

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