Robert James Harvey, 33, of no fixed address, entered in-custody pleas April 21 to domestic assaults and multiple counts of disobeying orders by consuming alcohol.
The defendant was sentenced to 10 months behind bars on top of time served, to be followed by two years on probation.
In the Ontario Court of Justice, prosecutor Dean Ring read that as of Dec. 13, 2008, Harvey was living in Collingwood at the invitation of his sister and her husband when he returned home in a drunken state. As time went on he became increasingly agitated, and then engaged in "drunken tomfoolery with his brother-in-law, got on top of him and started punching him in the bedroom," said the Crown. The accused passed out on the floor soon afterwards. Police were called to remove him from the premises and sober him up.
On Mar. 7, 2009, Harvey came to the attention of Huronia West officers, who found the defendant "stumbling on a Creemore roadway." He had beer in his backpack and a flask of whiskey in his front pocket at the time court heard. As before, he was in clear violation of a probationary term to abstain from alcohol.
One month later, Huronia West officers encountered him again when they were dispatched to a dispute on Sunnidale Road. The caller reported "a male pushing a female and yelling." Snowballs were also being tossed at the woman by the accused, added Ring. Once more Harvey was drunk, engaging in both verbal and physical confrontation with the woman.
Defence counsel Cecile Applegate stressed the need for addiction counseling, but found a term of abstinence too onerous for her client.
"Clearly he’s an alcoholic and has difficulty abstaining," she said.
However Mr. Justice Roland Harris saw a pressing need for the term.
"It’s really hard to imagine a probation order that does not include abstinence," he began, adding: "The public, I think deserves protection despite his addiction. If he wants to stay home and drink himself silly, fine… but not be in public without guarantors.’
"The reality is that he wasn’t able to abstain. He could not stop himself, and he continued to the point where he was blacking out, does not recall how he got into a jail cell," rejoined Applegate. Harvey then addressed the Bench.
"It’s gone to far. I’ve just destroyed my life," he said.
The accused was ordered to take the Partner Abuse Response (PARS) program and to continue his existing counseling, with emphasis on assaultive behaviour as well as alcohol abuse. In addition, the court ruled he can’t be outside his home with alcohol in his system and will provide such samples into an approved screening device as police may demand.
Probation for "deplorable" fraud
Forty-six-year-old Tamara (Tammy) Bell, formerly of Collingwood, pled guilty April 21 to attempting to defraud a local resident, receiving a suspended sentence as 12 months on probation. Bell, who by her lawyers’ calculation has a criminal record of over 190 convictions, is currently in "supportive living" in Richmond Hill.
Court heard that on May 28, 2008, the accused went door-to-door on Nettleton Court in Collingwood, soliciting homeowners for money "to get to Orillia." For the most part she was refused, having only "some success," read the Crown. Bell was co-operative with police upon her arrest.
"Do you have anything to say?" asked Mr. Justice Roland Harris.
"Other than I’m sorry for people I’ve taken money from," was the reply.
"This was an attempt – you mean, over time?"
"Yeah," said Bell.
"There’s been discussion over how courts should treat people with ridiculous records. With some judges, the sentence actually goes down, with judges throwing up their hands," Harris began. "This deplorable fraud… I say that, because most people are kind hearted, they tend to want to believe you, it undermines their faith in people as a whole."
Bell was banned from the town of Collingwood with the exception of occasional attendance at supportive counseling.
Thieving earns 95 days
Kenneth Black, 40, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty from the prisoner’s box Apr. 21, answering to charges of theft under $5,000 plus disobeying court orders.
He was sentenced to 95 days behind bars with 18 months probation attached.
In the Collingwood Ontario Court of Justice provincial Crown Dean Ring advised that on Mar. 4, 2008, Collingwood officers were called to the Loblaws store about two men who were making off with cosmetics and some meat including steaks. Black, who was one of the suspects, was stopped and arrested with $194 in goods on his person. The accused was also breaching a probation order.
In September of last year Black allegedly went to the local Wal-Mart, where he "smashed a display case (while) trying to get at a laptop." Ring added no claim for restitution was made in the incident. The following October, Black was implicated in the theft of $500 in Canadian currency plus a number of lottery receipts, all taken from the Nottawa Conveniece store. A second man was also involved, court heard.
The defendant was ordered to avoid any contact with his co-accused, to not be in any store with the third party named – and to stay out of Wal-Marts, Loblwas, and the Nottawa Convenience store. He was further ordered to make $250 restitution to the latter within 60 days of the onset of probation.
Employee theft case remanded
A 19-year-old Stayner man pleaded guilty Apr. 21 to charges of theft under $5,000, and was ordered to return to court June 2 for sentencing.
The prosecution alleged that in January 2009 Adam Wyant stole over $720 in cigarettes, cards, beverages and magazines while working as a clerk at the Esso Mac’s Convenience store on Highway 26. While Wyant did not confess to the arresting officer, he agreed with the Crown’s synopsis as read. Both a pre-sentence report and a transcript of the summary will be prepared for the upcoming hearing.
Accused says collision predates drinking
Thomas Andrew Hackett, 35, of New Lowell entered guilty pleas Apr. 14 to charges of having an excess blood alcohol and driving while disqualified.
In the Ontario Court of Justice, Crown prosecutor Paul Billington read that on July 15, 2008, Huronia West OPP officers were notified of a driver failing to remain at an accident scene. Investigation revealed that a BMW had rear-ended a trailer that was being towed by a tractor, and that the BMW had later broken down on Sunnidale Road. The driver, who was Hackett, had then hitchhiked to New Lowell with his friend, said the Crown.
When police caught up to the accused at his home, the car keys were in his pocket and there was an odour of alcohol on his breath. Breathalyzer tests were done, resulting in readings of 126 and 96 mg percent at the highest and lowest, court heard.
After entering a plea, Hackett claimed he got a ride home after the collision, and then began drinking beer; however, he admitted to being a disqualified driver dating from an offence in 2006. Mr. Justice Roland Harris ordered a transcript of the evidence, and the defendant will return for disposition on Apr. 28.
Pugilism earns 45 days
Kirk Phillips, 28, of Wasaga Beach, pleaded guilty April 14 to assaulting another man, receiving 45 day intermittent jail term followed by a year on probation.
Court heard the first offender came across the victim on July 28, 2008 at the Boston Pizza in Wasaga Beach. With money issues in mind, Phillips insisted on having "a word" with the victim, who wanted no part of it. The accused persisted, and there was a scuffle outside in which Phillips punched the other man in the right cheek. The Crown added the victim’s friend intervened by "jumping on Phillips" back and afterward all three went back inside the restaurant."
The victim had sufficient bruising to his eye to seek medical attention, and was told there was damage to the orbital bone that would require surgical reconstruction.
"It was a big first offence," finished the Crown.
Mr. Justice Roland Harris imposed a 10-year weapons ban and a DNA order in the case. Hackett was ordered to avoid Boston Pizza and the complainants, and will pen a 200-word apology to the victim within 15 days. Counseling for violence was also endorsed as a condition of probation.
"This is about as far from a consensual fight as you can get," wrote the judge.
Blackberry destroyed in dispute
A 29-year-old Springwater Township man entered a guilty plea April 14 to the offence of mischief under $5,000, and was granted a conditional discharge as 12 months on probation.
On Dec. 11, 2008, Jason Jonathan Callan was the subject of a call to police about a domestic disturbance at a Rainbow Valley Road address. The Crown advised that Huronia West officers arrived on scene to find the female complainant "crying to someone on a cell phone." The woman told police "she’d come to see homeowner Callan, they’d argued, and he threw a chair at her (with not contact)." The defendant also tossed a beer in her face and then "smashed her Blackberry against the wall." As the accused had already replaced the phone for is full value, the prosecution did not proceed on the charge of domestic assault.
Callan was ordered to keep the peace and to have no contact with the complainant "except in an amicable way."