Text message saved a woman
The Ontario Court of Justice, Criminal Division convened in Pembroke on Tuesday, Dec. 11. Presiding was Justice Robert Selkirk. Representing the Crown attorney’s office was Saad Syed and federal Crown Tim McCann.
Patrick Walsh, 28, of Barry’s Bay, pleaded guilty to assault and breaching conditions of his probation. On Nov 27, 2012, a woman received a text message from a friend which read: “I’m at home. Call 911. Not joking.” The woman then called 911. Police arrived at the friend’s Barry’s Bay residence to find the accused and a woman in the kitchen. Walsh had a strong odour of alcohol on his breath. He admitted to police he was breaching his probation before running from the kitchen. He fled outside but, after a long foot chase, was apprehended by police. Speaking to the officers, the woman said the accused had forced her up against the back door to the kitchen. After he released her, she ran into the bathroom and sent the emergency text message.
Selkirk sentenced Walsh to 105 days in jail and imposed a further 18 months probation. He also ordered a DNA sample be provided and imposed a 10-year firearms prohibition.
Brian Klentz, 21, of Laurentian Valley, pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle while his blood alcohol was over .08 milligrams. On Oct 19, 2012, police responded to a complaint from a motorist who saw a pickup truck spinning its tires before speeding onto the road. Investigating this report of aggressive driving, officers observed a pickup travelling at a high rate of speed on Zander’s Road. The truck then pulled off the road and into a field. Police pursued the truck, however, it continued to accelerate and fishtail wildly.
When they did manage to pull over the truck, they found two male occupants in the front cab. The driver had red, glossy eyes and was unsteady on his feet. When he responded to questions, his speech was slurred. The accused did not have valid insurance for the vehicle. Police recovered some alcohol from the truck as well as three uncased firearms, including one that was loaded. He subsequently failed the roadside screening device. His blood alcohol level later showed 160 and 150 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.
He has no criminal record.
Selkirk fined the accused $1,500 and imposed a $100 victim fine surcharge. He also handed down a one-year driving prohibition.
Patrick Lawrence, 26, of Pembroke, pleaded guilty of failing to attend court and theft under $5,000.
On Aug. 7, 2012, a bench warrant was issued for Lawrence after he failed to appear in Pembroke provincial court. Then on Aug. 24, police received a report that a male, dressed in a dark sweater, had entered a mini-van in downtown Pembroke. Police later observed the suspect standing outside a coffee shop. Lawrence admitted to officers that he had stolen a CD case containing CDs from the mini-van and assisted officers in its recovery. He said he went into the mini-van looking for food.
Selkirk gave the accused credit for five days pre-sentence custody, suspended sentencing and imposed 12 months probation.
Jessica Stacey, 29, of North Bay, pleaded guilty to refusing to provide a sample. On the night of Oct. 28, 2012, police came upon three vehicles stopped at an intersection on Petawawa Boulevard. One of the drivers told police that the car in front of her had been weaving all over the road before it stopped abruptly at the intersection. The car did not move when the light turned green, the motorist stated.
Approaching the driver’s side, officers noted that the keys were still in the ignition and the engine was still running. Shifting the gear into park, the officers questioned the driver, who appeared highly intoxicated.
She admitted to drinking and eventually gave her name and date of birth after prompting from police. She was unsteady on her feet and her eyes were bloodshot. Taken into custody, the accused was permitted the opportunity to speak with duty counsel at the detachment. Once the phone call was made, she was instructed by a technician on how to blow into the screening device. However, she refused, demanding that she call a lawyer. When reminded that she had spoken to counsel already, Stacey said she could not remember and refused to provide the sample. She has no criminal record.
Selkirk imposed a $2,500 fine and a one-year driving prohibition.
Harry Zohr, 69, was found guilty of refusing to provide a sample. The charge stemmed from an incident on April 14, 2012. Selkirk imposed a $1,200 fine and a one-year driving prohibition.
Jesse Bryanton, 20, of Pembroke, pleaded guilty to theft under $5,000. On June 30, 2012, police were called to an area boxstore to investigate a theft. The accused was an employee who worked in the shipping and receiving department. It was alleged that he had removed an iPod from its packaging and left it outside the back delivery doors to the premises. Surveillance cameras later showed him coming back to retrieve the item.
Selkirk granted a conditional discharge and 12 months probation.
Sean Chase is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist