Former NL premier’s son granted full parole a year into drunk driving sentence

The Canadian Press
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Jack Tobin arrives for court in Ottawa in this Canadian Press file photo.

OTTAWA — The son of former Newfoundland premier Brian Tobin has been granted full parole a year into his sentence for killing his friend in a drunk driving stunt.

Jack Tobin’s application was granted Thursday, six months after the 26-year-old was approved for day parole.

Tobin pleaded guilty in May of last year to impaired driving causing death.

A judge sentenced him to three years in prison and a seven-year driving ban for his role in the death of a close friend on Christmas Eve 2010.

Alex Zolpis was pinned under a pickup truck during drunken hijinks in a parking garage in downtown Ottawa.

At a sentencing hearing, Tobin offered a tearful apology for his actions.

Geographic location: OTTAWA, Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • Fred from Brigus
    September 29, 2012 - 07:08

    His friends family would be able to start the healing process a lot more easily if he would serve out his full sentence. This is a joke parole after only 6 months and full parole after one year. What a joke. Bet you he will be caught driving without a license before his 7 year suspension is up.

  • Bonnie
    September 29, 2012 - 06:07

    Jack Tobin is not a criminal and prisons are for criminals. He is someone who made a very bad mistake and everyday for the rest of his life he will at be reminded of this tragedy. Sadly one life is gone; don't ruin another one. It's all about forgiveness.

  • Wow
    September 29, 2012 - 04:15

    Got to love it, when your dad is rich and buys the best lawyers money can buy !!!

  • Brent Tremblay
    September 29, 2012 - 00:32

    This is the most brazen mis-use of the judicial process that has been seen in Canada in a very long time. One Year and a full parole for killing a innocent man !! Utterly disgusting. I feel so sorry for the victims family. How in good faith can they feel as if there is any form of fair justice in this country? I want too say it is becasue he is the son of the former Premier but that would be politically incorrect to do that so i will let the readers make there own choice which I am sure they already have.

  • Misty
    September 28, 2012 - 21:13

    You know, whatever way we all look at this...bottom line is.. it was an accident...he didn't intentionally hurt his friend...but, sadly that's how it is.....i'm sure he has and will continue to be haunted by that unnecessary tradgedy for the rest of his life, and i am sure he will never forget his friend ..... God bless both families!!!

  • Justin Case
    September 28, 2012 - 19:34

    My heart goes out to the Zolpis and Tobin families. I wouldn't wish this nightmare on anyone. And as far as justice goes, it was served. The real concern for me is that this outcome was predictable. Warnings were ignored. And the lesson for us all is to not ignore the warning signals. Of course, it's not easy; but an aftermath such is this is much harder. Get involved before it's too late. Who among us could not say "There but for the grace of God go I."

  • Theresa Christine
    September 28, 2012 - 18:07

    I don't condone what happened here by no stretch of the imagination, however, jail time, in the physical sense, may be over for this man but a mental jail time may last the rest of his life. Why do some think you have to be on the 'inside' to suffer for your actions. We were all young and foolish once - and most of us are probably lucky we didn't, by our senseless, young foolish ways ,kill or hurt someone. I can't imagine the pain Alex's family is suffering, but neither can I imagine the pain of Jack and his family. The one who has not sinned, throw the first stone. May both families find peace and happiness and may Jack who was also the unlucky one move on with his life and become a productive member of society.

  • phoney
    September 28, 2012 - 17:33

    money talks, and in this case it was shouted out loud, but what can you expect. a liberal always a liberal, putting rights of the criminals ahead of rights of victims. the justice system is as phoney as a 3 dollar bill, and this case proves it.

  • no justice
    September 28, 2012 - 17:26

    andrew: wrong wrong, it does have alot to do with the charter, it gives any one in this country a right to apply for early parole, may i suggest you study up on that phoney document that give criminals like tobin a right to apply for the parole. watch and see paul barnardo applying for early parole under the faint hope clause and that phoney charter. thanks to the hug-a-thug liberals and their watered down justice. but to add salt to the womb, tell that to victims of crime.

  • David
    September 28, 2012 - 17:22

    And Canadian justice runs its predictable course. Sleep well, everyone, and if you're not 'connected', best of luck.

  • cher
    September 28, 2012 - 15:58

    I have read the comments here and although I don't think any one's opinion is wrong , I think that people have forgotten that not only was jack tobin involved solely. these two friends were playing a deadly game , and tragically one was killed and yes jack had killed his best friend. But how can you blame just jack when both were involved ... it could of been jack that was killed . This was a tragic accident and a young man lost his life . To alex's family I send my deepest sympathy for your lost and prayer that you find some way to forgive so you are able to continue on with life . And to jack I hope and prayer that you take everything that has happened and have learned from it , I hope you find a way to eventually forgive yourself and make something of your life,. Maybe you can talk to other teenagers and young adults in hopes that something like this never happens again. Remember without love their is no forgiveness and with out forgiveness their is no love .

  • sparky
    September 28, 2012 - 15:09

    I think Jack Tobin has learned a very valuable'life lesson' from all of this & I am sure if there is anyone on this earth that would love to have that night back to do things right it would be Jack Tobin. Fred; if Mr.Tobin was given 20yrs in jail it would not bring his buddy back &the Zolpis family would not feel any less pain from losing a son.

  • Reverse
    September 28, 2012 - 14:55

    I'd be willing to bet that if it were reverse, sadly, Mr. Zolpis would have been handed a much harsher sentence. I'm not saying that I wish it were reverse; I'm just stating that celebrities and politicians and their families get every break in our society. No doubt that both families are severely affected and will carry pain forever; I just don't see justice served here.

  • Fred
    September 28, 2012 - 13:55

    To CFA....Do you honestly believe what you wrote here ? And would you stand in front of Alex Zolpis's family and say this and expect them to understand. The healing process will never even begin to start for Alex's family. The healing process has started and over for Tobins family, in less than a year, and he can go on with his life. God Bless the Zolpis's family and our apologies on behalf of the Justice System that again favours the sad. I am sick of such cases they dominate our lives these days.....

    • JUST ICE
      September 29, 2012 - 06:32

      Tobin committed the crime, let him do the time. Instead he gets a slap on the wrist and gets to go home with Mommy and Daddy. It;s like NHL hockey, the stars never get penalized as severely as the lesser lights do. Where is justice?

  • MIKE
    September 28, 2012 - 13:43

    Justice has been done and will continue to be done. Jack still has a hard road ahead. Hopefully all of this will make him a better person whi is willing to contribute to society. Good luck to Jack and his family.

  • cfa
    September 28, 2012 - 12:59

    I think that this young man and his family has suffered enough. He will have to live with it for the rest of his life. Imagine killing your best friend. How would you feel? I hope that his friend's family will find it in their hearts to forgive him and then both families can start the healing process.

  • no justice
    September 28, 2012 - 12:36

    and you can be certain a pardon will come soon. what a joke our judicial system as become. we can thank that liberal phoney document called: THE CHARTER OF RIGHTS & FREEDOMS for it. it gives criminals the right to parole and gives judges no power to hand out stiffer sentences to these punks. ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING ! one year prison time for a life. ONLY IN CANADA !

    • Andrew
      September 28, 2012 - 13:28

      NO JUSTICE: I understand your anger with this case, and many share this anger. However, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms contains no right to parole, nor any limitation on sentencing - only that punishment may not be cruel or unusual in nature. You may feel the sentence and resulting release was not sufficient, but don't blame the Charter. This case had nothing whatsoever to do with the Charter.

  • Fred
    September 28, 2012 - 12:25

    What a justice system we have. This is a sad reflection on the value of a human life.....I am disgusted !