Rude awak­en­ing

Car­bon­ear man sen­tenced to six months in jail

The Compass - - RECREATION - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON

WARN­ING: This story con­tains some lan­guage that might of­fend.

He was driv­ing while dis­qual­i­fied, un­will­ing to sub­mit to a breathal­yser test, and speak­ing in an ex­tremely rude and of­fen­sive man­ner to­wards an ar­rest­ing of­fi­cer.

Now Car­bon­ear res­i­dent Fran­cis Ho­gan has six months in jail to think about his ac­tions. The 51-year-old was sen­tenced last Wed­nes­day at Har­bour Grace pro­vin­cial court to 180 days in prison. He pleaded guilty to five charges — driv­ing while dis­qual­i­fied, ut­ter­ing threats, re­fus­ing to pro­vide a breath sam­ple, and two counts of breach­ing court or­ders. Ten other charges were dropped.

Ho­gan was ar­rested last Septem­ber af­ter po­lice re­ceived a com­plaint about an er­ratic driver on an all-ter­rain ve­hi­cle in Car­bon­ear. Ac­cord­ing to the agreed state­ment of facts read in court prior to sen­tenc­ing, Ho­gan told the of­fi­cer he had a cou­ple of drinks ear­lier. He was not legally per­mit­ted to drive at the time of the in­ci­dent. Even­tu­ally the of­fi­cer asked Ho­gan to step off his ve­hi­cle.

Over the course of their en­counter, Ho­gan be­came very ag­i­tated and ver­bally lashed out at the fe­male of­fi­cer. He re­ferred to her as Ms. Piggy, told her to “suck (his) arse,” “eat a dick,” and at one point sug­gested he would “cut you like a fish.” He re­fused to pro­vide a breath sam­ple.

He had pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions for im­paired driv­ing, so the re­fus­ing the breathal­yser charge car­ried with it a manda­tory min­i­mum sen­tence of 120 days. Through a joint sub­mis­sion by de­fence lawyer Jerome Kennedy and Crown pros­e­cu­tor Robin Sin­gle­ton, Ho­gan also re­ceived 30 days for driv­ing while dis­qual­i­fied plus 10 days for each of the re­main­ing three guilty pleas.

“It’s clear he’s not re­ceived the mes­sage from his pre­vi­ous con­vic­tion — driv­ing is a priv­i­lege, not a right,” said Sin­gle­ton.

Kennedy noted al­co­hol tends to get his client in trou­ble with the law. Ad­dress­ing the court him­self, Ho­gan ad­mit­ted he’s strug­gled to find a cure for his prob­lem. He apol­o­gized for his be­hav­iour and told the court he holds him­self re­spon­si­ble for his ac­tions.

Judge Jac­que­line Brazil said she be­lieved Ho­gan was gen­uinely re­morse­ful and was not the same per­son he was that day last Septem­ber when he stood be­fore the court Wed­nes­day. She also noted the facts of the case were se­ri­ous and Ho­gan showed a lot of dis­re­spect to­wards the po­lice of­fi­cer.

In ad­di­tion to the jail sen­tence, Ho­gan will be pro­hib­ited from driv­ing for five years.

PHOTO BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/THE COM­PASS

Fran­cis Ho­gan is shown seated at Har­bour Grace pro­vin­cial court. Last week, a judge sen­tenced the Car­bon­ear res­i­dent to 180 days in prison.

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