Crime as adult could mean jail, judge warns 18-year-old

Published on August 20, 2014

PICTOU – A Pictou County youth was welcomed to adulthood with a stern warning from a judge to turn his life around. 

The 18-year-old male, who cannot be identified because the crime occurred when he was a youth, was told by Pictou Provincial Court Judge Del Atwood that if he returns to court again as an adult, he could be looking at jail time.

“Welcome to the world of adults,” Atwood said. “You are now 18 years old and this is your last sentencing hearing that you will be tried as a youth. Anything you do from here on in, you will be in adult court.”

The young man was charged with impaired driving, resisting arrest and breach of a court order relating to an incident in February.

Crown attorney Bill Gorman told the court that RCMP were driving past a residence in Alma when the officer noticed a car leaving a driveway at a high speed and then the driver jammed on the brakes.

The RCMP officer stopped to speak to the driver who wouldn’t roll down his window fully or give him his name or driver’s licence.  The officer suspected the driver was intoxicated, but he refused to step out of the vehicle, telling him he needed to produce a search warrant.

The man then started the vehicle and reversed it down the driveway and ran into the home while the passenger in the car remained outside.

The officer knocked on the door and asked the man to come outside, and if he didn’t, he would obtain a search warrant and kick down the door.

Gorman said the man did eventually come outside, but continued to be verbally abusive towards the officer. It was determined the man was intoxicated and testing later showed his blood-alcohol level was over the legal limit.

The Crown attorney stated that on a positive note the man is currently employed, but that he has anger management issues and a problem with authority figures.  

Gorman suggested a hefty fine for the young man that will require him to take responsibility for his actions.

“He will need to take charge of his life,” he said. “He is going to have to work to pay off the fine and hopefully he can be a productive member of society.”

Defence lawyer Doug Lloy acknowledged that his client’s pre-sentence report wasn’t very positive, but said his client suffers from sleep deprivation caused by health issues and he was tired on the day the report was done.

The young man told the judge he tried to reschedule appointment, but was unable to get another date.

“My answers are not what my thoughts are,” he said.

Atwood sentenced the 18-year-old to two $500 fines as well as a 12-month driving prohibition and nine months’ probation that  includes three months’ house arrest.

He also suggested the man start learning more about the law before he preaches to police officers about his rights.

“The information you have been getting is wrong,” Atwood told him. “You can be stopped for impaired driving while on private property. It is a crime to operate a motor vehicle while impaired and the police don’t need a search warrant. If a police officer stops you, you must identify yourself if you are operating a motor vehicle. If you don’t produce a driver’s licence, they can arrest you.”

He added that the police officer didn’t need a warrant to remove the man from the home because he was in fresh pursuit.

“I urge you to find a different source of information,” he said, adding that if he continues to gather the wrong information it could land him in more than trouble with the law.