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PICTOU – A 24-year-old Westville man has been given a nine-month conditional sentence after resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer and breaching probation during an incident in November 2013.
Kyle Wilber Fraser MacLennan pleaded guilty to the charges in Pictou Provincial Court in May. The incident last November involved Westville Police Sergeant Howard Dunbar.
Judge Del Atwood sentenced MacLennan to a consecutive conditional sentence of three months relating to the charge of resisting arrest and six months for the breach of probation. The first six months will be served under house arrest with exceptions.
MacLennan spoke during his sentencing on Thursday, noting that alcohol was a contributing factor to his arrest.
“I know I have a problem with drinking and I’m getting help with that,” he said.
He noted that when a close family member passed away due to cancer, he sought alcohol to cope.
“I don’t drink or party or have fun. I drink for what I’ve dealt with in the last couple years.”
Atwood stated it was clear from the guilty plea and his comments that MacLennan regretted what happened.
“He is determined to use his best efforts to see that it never happens again,” said Atwood. “It’s clear to the court that MacLennan struggles with the use of alcohol though he has sought out appropriate therapeutic counselling.”
In addressing the court, MacLennan noted his job at DSME Trenton Ltd. where he works long hours and overtime amounting to around 60 hours a week.
A letter from DSME Trenton, read by Atwood, described MacLennan as an employee with over three years at the company.
“He is one of our most skilled welders and fitters, works independently with minimal supervision and has an exemplary record,” the letter noted. “When asked to work overtime, he always obliges. He is a team player that is respected by his coworkers and supervisors.”
Despite this, Atwood noted the key aggravating factor in this crime was the use of violence against Sgt. Dunbar. An equivalent aggravating factor was that MacLennan was on probation at the time.
“That was the probation ordered by Judge MacKinnon only a week and a half prior to the date you wound up essentially falling back into the arms of the police,” Atwood said.
The conditions of MacLennan’s sentence include: keeping the peace; appearing before court when required; meeting with a supervisor when required; remaining in the province; and not possessing or being in a place where alcohol is served or sold. He must also maintain steady employment.
Atwood warned MacLennan of the dangers that unrestrained alcohol consumption could have on his life if it doesn’t come under control.
“I remember reading something probably 30 years ago, describing alcohol as the great remover,” said Atwood. “It does remove stains from carpets but it also removes jobs, money and income, health and livelihood, joy and ultimately your life.”
If MacLennan breaches the conditions of his conditional sentence, which is served in the community, the remainder of the sentence must be served in jail.
Atwood also ordered MacLennan to pay a $500 fine and $150 victim surcharge relating to each charge.
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