Judge J. Glass denied the release of a man being held in custody following a domestic dispute of allegedly uttering threats, at the request of the Crown Prosecution.
The decision was made in Ponoka provincial court on Friday, June 19 as accused Rodney Brown, 52, watched the proceedings via closed circuit television.
On May 29 2015 Ponoka RCMP were called to a resident as the woman’s ex-boyfriend was allegedly uttering threats. They were met at the door by the complainant who told the police she feared for her life because Brown said he was going to kill her following an argument.
Brown was picked up on 50th Street Ponoka and released under recognizance.
On June 11, RCMP were called back to the same residence by a third party after Brown showed up despite recognizance stating he is to have no contact with the original complainant.
Crown prosecutor T. Wilson felt he faced a challenge stating his case to keep Brown in custody as defense counsel D. Paul possessed two letters written by the woman, which softened her position on the incident.
The letters reveal she is no longer concerned for her safety and talking to the RCMP the night of the incident was a spur of the moment decision. She also does not want no contact with him.
However, Wilson told the court just because she no longer fears for her safety does not mean the judicial system should feel the same. He believes it is on Brown to prove his actions under recognizance would be different this time around should he be released.
Paul told the court it was the woman’s sister who called the police the second time and the woman had convinced Brown to return to the residence to speak to her.
Brown appears again in court on Friday, June 26. Pleas on his breach of recognizance and uttering threats charges were reserved until then.
Shoppers’ shoplifter sees sentencing
A man who stole from Shoppers Drug Mart was sentenced to 35 days in custody after pleading guilty to theft under $5,000 and failing to appear. Taking into account pre-sentencing time served, left him with 26 remaining days in jail as of June 19.
On Jan. 19 2015, Ponoka RCMP received a report of a man, James Anhorn, attempting to leave the store with a bottle of Listerine in his pocket.
Surveillance identified Anhorn, the item was recovered and he left without incident. The court was told Shoppers has had issues with Anhorn in the past.
When Anhorn was arrested, he admitted he had stolen four bottles of Listerine alongside the one that was discovered as he tried to leave the store.
Anhorn’s record shows 14 previous convictions for theft and Wilson feels public and commercial interest should outweigh Anhorn’s and being an alcoholic does not absolve him of his responsibility to obey the law.
Wilson said it may have just been a bottle of Listerine this time, but that needs to be put in the context of 40 years of different thefts.
Defense counsel Paul countered the incident needs to be put in the context of the 150 years of residential schools and abuse of native culture.
“Society’s saying after a while this is a nuisance, it needs to be punished. This is the same society that set up the situation,” said Paul.
“You end up with an individual whose life circumstances put him in the classic cycle of alcohol abuse,” he added. “When he’s drinking, he does stupid things.”
Intoxicated driver sentenced
One week before her trial date, an Airdrie woman stepped back into court to plead guilty to driving over .08.
Ashley Ferguson was sentenced to a $1,300 fine plus 30 per cent for a victim surcharge and a one-year driving prohibition.
On Aug. 30 2014, RCMP received multiple calls relating to the same vehicle swerving all over the road at high speeds while the driver was on a cell.
Ferguson was intercepted south of Lacombe and while pulling over, she was observed reaching over to the passenger side of the vehicle. When speaking with police her speech was slurred and she was talking through a sweater to cover her mouth. She had to be asked three times for her documents after she tried to hand police a potted plant.
An empty beer can was seen on the passenger side of the vehicle.
Ferguson was taken to the Blackfalds detachment where she provided blood alcohol samples at .19 and .18.
“Unless you live under a rock, we hear every day about the carnage that comes from drinking a driving,” Glass told her.
Ferguson requested conditional discharge but Wilson told the court the option was not open to her due to the circumstances, but there was a possibility with a curative discharge. Ferguson was not interested in a curative discharge because the criminal record was her concern.
She had no prior criminal record.
Intoxicated passenger sentenced
After pleading guilty to the unlawful consumption of liquor under the Gaming and Liquor Act and failing to appear, a man was sentenced to five days in custody.
Warren Potts had spent four days in custody pre-sentencing and with one more day tacked on for the Gaming and Liquor Act offence, to be held concurrent to time already served, his sentence was deemed complete.
On April 16, Ponoka RCMP received a warning from the Lacombe detachment on a possible impaired driver.
The vehicle in question was found and stopped; Potts was an intoxicated passenger.
The vehicle was discovered stolen and Potts was charged with unlawful consumption. He also failed to appear in court on his first scheduled appearance, scheduled for June 12.
The second passenger in the vehicle, Matthew Pelletier, pled guilty to failing to comply and failing to appear. His time already in custody was also deemed appropriate to punish the offenses.
Like Potts, at the time of the incident, Pelletier was under a condition not to consume alcohol.