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Two year sentence for forcing vehicle off highway

Ponoka Provincial Court round up

A busy day in Ponoka Provincial Court on Nov. 29 included the sentencing of a Ponoka area man who was found guilty of dangerous driving and driving while prohibited.

John Scott was charged earlier this year following an incident on an area highway with his former common law wife after she decided to end their 30-year relationship.

A trial held back in October found Scott had deliberately attempted to use his vehicle to run the woman in her vehicle off the road and drove in a reckless and intimidating manner while chasing the woman. The woman eventually pulled over, where the court found Scott tried to get at her by punching on the window.

Scott was sentenced to two years in jail, with credit given for 163 days of pre-trial custody, essentially agreeing with the defence’s suggestion during arguments on Nov. 15. He was handed two years on the driving while prohibited count and one year concurrent on the dangerous driving charge. In addition, he was given a five-year driving ban.

During sentencing, the judge noted that Scott’s prolific driving-related convictions— four dangerous driving, six driving while disqualified and three flight from police — demonstrate a chronic disrespect for obeying the court and the sentence must show a level of deterrence and denunciation.

However, the judge also took into account Scott’s deteriorating health conditions, as he suffers from several chronic diseases, as well as the affects the incident has had on his mental health, that Scott expressed genuine remorse after being found guilty and that he has taken significant steps to participate in rehabilitative programs while in custody.

The Crown had sought a four-and-a-half year sentence — 2.5 years for dangerous driving and two for driving while prohibited to be served consecutively.

Also on Nov. 29, Stephen Pond, 43, from Edson, entered pleas of not guilty to 11 charges including flight from police, driving while disqualified and dangerous driving. His trial was scheduled for June 19, 2020.

Meanwhile on Nov. 22, several cases saw trial dates scheduled while others adjourned for another day.

The case involving three people accused of credit card and other fraud — Kameryne Boyd, Brendyn Beaulieu, James MacNeil — saw all three plead not guilty to the various charges and a trial date was set for May 1, 2020 in Ponoka.

Laurie Laboucan, who is facing four counts including one of arson, pleaded not guilty and will face trial in Ponoka on Feb. 21, 2020.

Danelle Rickett, facing vehicle theft and stolen property possession charges, pleaded not guilty and will stand trial in Ponoka on May 29, 2020.

Calvin Fertash, who is facing a slew of 14 charges from various jurisdictions that include vehicle theft, had his case put over until Dec. 6 in order for his lawyer and the prosecutor to come up with a resolution to the case.

Christopher Hannah, accused in a vehicle theft among other charges, saw his case adjourned until Jan. 3