Ineligible driver was on private road when stopped: judge

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PICTOU – Seventy-year-old John Arthur Gillespie of Chance Harbour has been found not guilty of driving without a valid licence after a provincial court judge concluded that he was on private property when he was stopped.

Judge Del Atwood read out the not guilty verdict in Pictou Tuesday and cited precedents that indicate a licence is required only when driving on roads defined under the Motor Vehicle Act, and private roads are not included in that definition.

Gillespie was stopped by police on Lewis Road in February, and while Gillespie did not dispute the fact that he was driving, or that he did not have a valid licence, the case centred on where the stop was conducted.

During the trial last week, court heard that the Lewis Road was re-routed onto Gillespie's property through an agreement with neighbours several years ago, and that portion of the road became a private road at that time.

Geographic location: Lewis Road, Pictou

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