12 month con­di­tional sen­tence for run­ning from po­lice

The Drumheller Mail - - AROUND TOWN - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

A man who fled from po­lice at a traf­fic stop, and even­tu­ally crashed his truck, was given a 12 month con­di­tional sen­tence or­der.

Thomas McDuff ap­peared in provin­cial court in Drumheller on Fri­day, Septem­ber 16. He has pleaded guilty on an ear­lier date to dan­ger­ous driv­ing and fail­ing to stop for a peace of­fi­cer.

The court heard that shortly after 11 a.m. on March 13, Drumheller RCMP at­tempted to per­form a traf­fic stop on a white Trail­blazer when it failed to stop. It ac­cel­er­ated, cut­ting off ve­hi­cles and drove over a curb. At one point the ve­hi­cle ap­peared to slow down, at­tempt­ing to stop, but then again sped away. It was at­tempt­ing a turn near El­gin Hill when it crashed into a gravel berm.

The driver ex­ited the ve­hi­cle with his hands up and told the of­fi­cer he ran be­cause he was a sus­pended driver. The court learned that McDuff, who now re­sides in Saskatchewan, was in Drumheller to park his ve­hi­cle at his par­ent’s home. On this day, he was driv­ing to the car wash.

He has pleaded guilty at a pre­vi­ous court ap­pear­ance, to have pre­sen­tence re­port com­pleted be­fore sen­tenc­ing. The re­port was char­ac­ter­ized as pos­i­tive, with McDuff ex­press­ing re­gret that he had put peo­ple at risk. The crown and de­fense rec­om­mended a con­di­tional sen­tence or­der of 8 months.

Judge Grieve told the court that in cases such as these, typ­i­cally per­son would be sen­tenced to three months in cus­tody, and with­out a sub­stan­tial sen­tence, the court strug­gles to send the mes­sage of the con­se­quences of not stop­ping for the po­lice.

He sen­tenced McDuff to a 12 month con­di­tional sen­tence or­der. The first six months of the or­der he is un­der house ar­rest, and for the re­main­der, he is to abide by a cur­few. He was also given an al­co­hol and driv­ing pro­hi­bi­tion and to com­plete 50 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice.

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