Speedster loses licence after pleading guilty

Travelling at speeds in excess of 177 km/h landed a motorist with a $2,000 fine and a 90-day driving suspension in provincial court.

Travelling at speeds in excess of 177 km/h landed a motorist with a $2,000 fine and a 90-day driving suspension in provincial court Friday, Sept. 11.

Crown prosecutor Steve Degen told the court that members of the Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit pulled Edmonton driver Chris Smith over on Dec. 9, 2014 after clocking his speed at 177 km/h on Highway 2.

It took officers several minutes travelling at more than 200 km/h to catch up to Smith, added Degen. He said they travelled 18 kilometres in seven minutes before closing the gap.

The 32-year-old computer technician regrets his decision to travel that fast, explained defense counsel David Paull. “There’s just no good excuse for driving that fast on the highway.”

When asked by Judge James Glass if he wanted to say anything about the actions that day, Smith said he won’t be speeding in the future. He was given until Nov. 30 to pay the fines and surrendered his licence to the court.

Man receives fines for vigilante justice

Burning a tent that belonged to two youths brought a Ponoka man $950 in fines.

The Ponoka Fire Department was called to a tent on fire at approximately 11 p.m. on Aug. 4, explained Degen of the events leading up to the arrest of Chris Lyle, who was charged with arson damaging property.

Degen said the police were called in when the firefighters saw Lyle and two youths fighting and had to break up the fight.

“Mr. Lyle was intoxicated and had a heavy slur,” explained Degen.

Lyle’s actions followed after his equipment was stolen, and he suspected the youths used the tent to store stolen items, added Degen. He recommended a $500 fine and 12 months of probation.

Defense counsel Paull said the incident was not a result of an alcohol problem but the alcohol put Lyle over the edge. “He had $12,000 worth of tools stolen from his shack,” said Paull.

“It certainly has been an eye-opener for him. He has to continue to report activity to police,” he added.

Paull suggested probation was not necessary and added that one of the individuals he confronted had been arrested for a break and enter offense.

Lyle said it was the wrong thing to do and said he would call police if he suspected criminal behaviour in the future. Judge Glass granted a fine and did not put Lyle under probation. He was given until Oct. 30 to pay $950 in fines.

Man given opportunity to clear record

After being charged with mischief for damaging Town of Ponoka security cameras at the Ponoka Culture and Recreation Complex, Ponoka resident Dustin Baird was given a chance to clear his record.

Degen told the court that Baird was seen in surveillance footage Oct. 16, 2014, with five individuals smoking and drinking. Footage shows Baird and a friend throwing rocks and a beer bottle before eventually knocking it out of focus.

A restitution request of $956 to replace the camera and the labour was made by Degen. “Paying the restitution just corrects the wrong.”

He added that Baird should have a conditional discharge and advises community service. Judge Glass recommended Baird follow through with the requirements.

“The benefits of a conditional discharge to you is if you complete it you won’t have a criminal record,” explained Glass.

He has six months to pay the restitution and fines and 20-hours of community service.