Explanation helps man stay out of jail

A Ponoka man was fortunate to walk out the way he came in last week.

A Ponoka man was fortunate to walk out the way he came in last week.

Scott Wiebe, 26, pleaded guilty at Ponoka Provincial Court on Friday, Dec. 3 to one count each of driving while disqualified, driving without insurance and failing to appear in court and nearly wound up leaving the courtroom in handcuffs if not for the judge accepting the man’s explanation.

Instead, Wiebe was handed almost $3,500 in fines as well as an additional one year driving ban.

According to the facts presented by the crown, back on Jan. 8, 2105, an RCMP officer in an unmarked vehicle spotted a vehicle known to belong to Wiebe who had his licence suspended nearly three months earlier for an impaired driving conviction parked at the 7-11 in Ponoka. The officer believed Wiebe may be driving it, so he waited and the pulled over the vehicle after it left the parking lot.

Wiebe was found driving the car, which was also found to no longer have insurance.

While admitting he was driving when he shouldn’t have been and that the car wasn’t insured, Wiebe provided an explanation to the court that seemed to satisfy the judge to the point where it kept Wiebe out of heading to jail.

He told the court, prior to sentencing, that the car had been parked at his place of employment a job he has since lost due to transportation issues since his impaired conviction, but that day he was told it had to be moved and Wiebe felt there was no other option than to do it himself, adding he knew he shouldn’t have done it.

Judge J.B. Mitchell stated during sentencing that he took Wiebe’s explanation at face value, adding he had no reason to doubt Wiebe’s version, and also noted it isn’t the most egregious example of this type of offence as well as the fact Wiebe has had to find a new job as a result.

“Like I tell all of the people that appear before me that are convicted and suspended from driving, there is always the chance that you will go to jail if you are caught behind the wheel without having your licence,” stated Judge Mitchell to Wiebe.

“The real consequence for you though is another conviction, an extended driving ban and some big fines.”

One-year ban

A 32-year-old man from the Louis Bull First Nation ended up with the minimum penalty allowable along with a lengthy period of probation after the judge believed there was a better way to deal the case.

George Twins pleaded guilty to one count each of driving with a blood alcohol level over 0.08 and driving while unauthorized after he was seen weaving across several roads in downtown Ponoka around midnight on Saturday, Nov. 7 and found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.23. Twins also didn’t have a licence, as it had not been reinstated after a previous impaired conviction.

Twins received $1,200 in fines and one year ban on driving along with an 18-month probation that has several restrictions placed on him, including alcohol treatment.

The crown did ask for fines nearing $3,000 to go with an 18 month driving ban. However, Judge Mitchell expressed concern with that suggestion after finding out Twins has a large family, is unemployed and has a significant alcohol problem.

“What are you doing gunned to the gills at midnight with six kids at home? The party is over and you need to put your big boys pants on and grow up. And with no job, the likelihood of such an unrealistic financial penalty being a deterrent and getting paid off is slim, yet the toolbox I have to deal with this is limited. However, I think we can do something better than $3,000 in fines,” said Judge Mitchell before sentencing Twins.

“Despite what happened, I believe probation would perhaps be useful if you can come to grips with your alcohol problem and employment troubles. Hopefully, this will go a long way to redirecting you in a more positive direction.”

One month jail

A former Ponoka man will spend some further time behind bars as a result of pleading guilty to charges of shoplifting and failing to appear in court.

Andrew Rain, 35, now living in Ma-Me-O Beach, admitted to stealing a number of pills from the Shoppers Drug Mart in Ponoka back in June of 2014 and then not showing up for his trial that was set for Oct. of 2014. Rain was handed a 30-day jail sentence with 12 days credit for the time he had already spent in jail.

Rain’s lawyer explained that his client has not been in trouble since that incident, and moved away specifically so he would no longer be involved with the drugs and alcohol lifestyle he had been leading.

Judge Mitchell was pleased to see the man’s change, but added the charges combined with his previous record left him little choice but to send him a message with a term in jail.

Time served

A woman who is five-months pregnant and having to deal with some other personal issues was cut a substantial break after pleading guilty to charges of shoplifting and failing to appear in court.

Chelsea Rain, 22, from Ponoka, was sentenced to eight days in jail which amounted to time served after calling the crown’s suggestion of a $500 fine impractical given the circumstances. Rain was charged for taking several personal hygiene and makeup items from Shoppers Drug Mart back in May of 2014 and then not showing up for a pair of court appearances that same year.

In handing out the sentence, Judge Mitchell took into account Rain’s present situation of trying to regain her independence after getting out of what could be considered a controlling relationship and support her two young children with another on the way as well as the relatively small value ($69) of items taken.

 

Just Posted

(Advocate file photo)
Red Deer down to 102 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone has 332 cases with 26 in hospital and five in ICU

Flora Northwest was taken to the Ermineskin residential school when she was six years old. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
Ermineskin residential school survivor: ‘It just brings me back to the cries at night’

Discovery in Kamloops of remains of 215 children a painful time for survivors

Maskwacis Pride crosswalk (Left to right): Montana First Nation Councillor Reggie Rabbit, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Louise Omeasoo, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Katherine Swampy, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Shannon Buffalo, Samson Cree Nation Chief Vern Saddleback.
Pride in Maskwacis

The 4th inaugural Maskwacis Pride crosswalk painting took place on Saturday 12, 2020.

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer COVID cases continue to fall

114 cases in Red Deer, down one from Saturday

Lorne Fundytus. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
OUR COMMUNITY: Rimoka Housing Foundation has a new CAO

Rimoka Housing Foundation (RHF) has a new, yet familiar, face to fill… Continue reading

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers found that 56% of foundations and eye products contain high levels of fluorine

(Photo submitted)
RV fire in Riverside, Ponoka quickly extinguished

A fire that set a motor home in Riverside ablaze from an… Continue reading

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

Most Read