Repeat offenders receive heavy sentences

An individual with a lengthy record of getting behind the wheel when he shouldn’t have has ended up with yet another jail term

An individual with a lengthy record of getting behind the wheel when he shouldn’t have has ended up with yet another jail term.

Harold Unrau, 54, from Ponoka, pleaded guilty at Ponoka Provincial Court on Friday, Nov. 13 to a charge of driving while unauthorized along with two counts of breach of probation following an incident back on Oct. 4. He was handed a total of 59 days in jail as a result, which amounted to time served with credit for time spent behind bars already. He must also pay a $300 victim surcharge.

He admitted that around 11 a.m. that day, he came out of the apartment he was staying at and drove to a local liquor store where he purchased some alcohol and brought it back to the apartment where police found and arrested him as a result of a witness calling in a complaint regarding his driving. Unrau was under a one-year driving ban as well as 12 months probation with conditions to abstain from alcohol and not enter businesses that sell alcohol at the time due to an impaired driving conviction he received last December, which included him serving a 60 day jail sentence.

Unrau still faces one count each of impaired driving and driving while over the legal limit, which he has pleaded not guilty to with a trial set for next April.

Petty theft

A Ponoka woman who has had significant problems with alcohol which has led to numerous run-ins with police had another jail sentence imposed last week.

Dodi Soosay, 38, was given 20 days behind bars after pleading guilty at Ponoka Provincial Court to one count of theft under $5,000 for stealing a $50 phone card from a Ponoka gas station back on Apr. 22.

Soosay was recently sentenced to 45 days in jail on other theft charges. Her lawyer explained Soosay had always struggled with alcohol addiction and kind of fell back into the pattern of drinking which led her to steal after a family death hit her hard and that she had beeen trying hard and wanted to be there for her family. The lawyer said she felt remorseful and embarrassed when she sobered up and realized what she had done.

In sentencing Soosay, Judge D.J. Plosz described her actions as “beyond stupid”. “With an ugly record of repeated petty thefts, you can still receive two years in jail for a charge like this and this kind of stuff isn’t doing you or your family any good,” Judge Plosz said. “It’s time for you to turn things around and end this in-and-out-of-jail cycle or one day you will find yourself with a fairly lengthy time in prison.”

Hefty fine

Getting into the driver’s seat without a licence has taken a big chunk out of the wallet of a Ponoka woman.

Thirty-two year-old Michelle Spence plead guilty to one count of driving while unauthorized and fined $1,150 after she was caught driving on Aug. 15 without having gotten her licence back following a suspension for an impaired driving conviction from Sept. 2013.

The fine was a joint submission and, as her lawyer explained to the court, was a result of the efforts Spence had been taking at the time to restore her driving privileges. While Judge Plosz accepted the sentence as recommended, he added Spence should be grateful for the generosity provided to her through this offer and cautioned her that the province will further suspend her licence for the next six month, during which time she needs to continue to work on the complying with the conditions of not driving along with doing what she needs to do to properly get her licence back.


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