Bell Island drunk driver who hit girl to be sentenced next month

Rosie Mullaley
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John Dobbin pleads guilty to impaired causing bodily harm

John Dobbin was in provincial court in St. John’s Thursday for the start of his sentencing hearing. He’s pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing bodily harm, which stems from an incident on Bell Island last summer. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

The teenage girl flew 12 feet in the air and landed in a ditch when John Dobbin hit her with his car and took off.

The Bell Island man was drunk and later told police he couldn’t remember doing it.

But the 14-year-old won’t soon forget it.

She ended up in hospital with nine staples in her head, a broken foot and numerous cuts and bruises.

During Dobbin’s sentencing hearing in provincial court in St. John’s Thursday, the court heard that the girl still suffers effects from the incident. It happened Aug. 19 last year.

Dobbin had spent hours drinking at Dick’s Lounge. At around 11 p.m., he got behind the wheel and soon after hit the girl, who was walking home with a friend.

Shortly afterwards, he swiped another girl who was walking along the road not far from there. She ended up with an injured elbow.

Dobbin’s car was later found with signs of collision at the Bell Island air strip, where Dobbin’s son, Bradley Dobbin, had reportedly taken it to hide it after the incident.

The younger Dobbin has been charged with mischief by trying to mislead police.

John Dobbin pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing bodily harm and leaving the scene of an accident. The 42-year-old was also charged with several Highway Traffic Act violations, including having no insurance.

The sentencing hearing is scheduled to continue July 4.

Dobbin is not in custody, having been released from jail on conditions shortly after his arrest.

However, it’s likely he will get jail time for his crimes.

Crown prosecutor Jeff Summers is asking for a two-year prison term, while defence counsel Tim O’Brien is expected to request a year-long sentence.

Judge Lois Skanes is on the bench.

Twitter: @TelyCourt

Geographic location: Bell Island

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Recent comments

  • Kim
    June 15, 2013 - 08:15

    To Islander;If this was your daughter would you feel the same way..Probably not..No Mr Dobbins family shouldn't be hararsssed..But he should pay for this aweful crime..Drinking and driving don't mix..Sure Judge Skanes will go EASY on him,the name speaks volume..

  • Christine Byrne
    June 14, 2013 - 17:51

    Dear Islander I am the mother of the young girl that got hit that night .Before you get on the computer saying stuff that you don't know about you should have your facts straight. It is three sides to a story mine, theirs and the TRUTH. I personally know the Dobbin family we are related .I was talking to the mother myself because she called me herself so where NOT HARRASSING the Dobbin Family. We are healing but my daughter got to live with this the rest of her life.So don't try and tell me what we got . to do

  • Concerned islander
    June 14, 2013 - 17:48

    My comment is to the islander that suggested that the Byrne Family has been harassing mr dobbin and his family. I am a very close friend of the family and I know that if anyone has been being harrased it has been them with having Mr. Dobbin driving round the town with out a care in the world. I have personally seen Mr.Dobbin mocking th family by waving and smiling at them when he passes them on the streets or ferry. Th byrne family had not had any contact or spoken to mr.dobbin since the accident. As for his parents they have told them that was not their fault and do not hold against them since they are actually related. So I belied the ISLANDER that posted the comment about the byrne family harassing Mr.Dobbin, hey should get their facts strait before posting another comment

  • John
    June 14, 2013 - 13:06

    This drunk loser could've easily killed two people that night.I'd give him 12 years and the son 5 years for trying to help him cover up his cowardice. In reality he'll get 6 months and be out in 6 weeks and the son will get probation.

  • Joe
    June 14, 2013 - 10:55

    Coffee shops can't make a go of it on Bell Island, but bars thrive. What does that tell you ?

  • Joe
    June 14, 2013 - 10:53

    I thought the drinking establishment was also liable. You know its no wonder people are becoming cynical.

    • Ev
      June 14, 2013 - 11:50

      They should be held accountable too. They know who is leaving the bar drunk. Maybe if a person orders a second drink the owner should take their car keys first. I know there is a cab service over there. No more excuses...

  • grant
    June 14, 2013 - 10:33

    He will get between 1 and 2 years because there wasent anyone killed. Newfoundland justice records show that if someone was killed and were left dead they would get off with or a slap on the wrist. In the states he woyuld get a minimun 10 years, and if someone was killed, 50 to life, now thats justice.

  • Ev
    June 14, 2013 - 10:05

    This story brings back sad memories of my friend Colleen D who was killed in the same manner by a drunk driver leaving Dicks and driving drunk....hitting her with his car, drove her in the ditch, left the scene where she was found by her friends...Dead. The drunk driver got NOTHING. Her family got a life time of loss; scarred for life along with her friends. AND you say it is "likely" he will get time...Hello????

  • Islander
    June 14, 2013 - 10:03

    I hope Mr.Dobbin learns from his mistakes as his family and the victim and victim family has suffered enough already. Mr. Dobbin should accept every opportunity that is available to overcome his addictions and turn the corner and rehabilitate himself and give peace to himself and his family. I personally know his parents and they are good people and have suffered immensley from this incident. The Bryne family has suffered and they have to heal and let the parents of mr. Dobbin heal as well and not to be harrassing that family they did not send their son out to do what he did.