adidas boost review Judge orders man to follow conditions or go to jail
But for Chance Mitchell Lays, 22, a provincial court judge felt more stringent conditions with a period of custody more appropriate.
Federal Crown attorney Bronwyn Duffy stood first in the Pictou courtroom Thursday, outlining the facts of Lays arrest on June 20, 2014, on a drug possession charge.
She told Judge Del Atwood that Mitchell was stopped at a traffic check near Mount William around midnight, but when a police officer put his head near the driver’s side window,
the strong smell of marijuana caught his attention.
He called another officer over the vehicle for a second opinion and a short while later Lays was placed under arrest and a search of his vehicle turned up a working scale, 24 grams of marijuana in different bags in the car and a bong used to smoke the drug.
Provincial Crown attorney Jody McNeill finished the statement of facts by saying that once officers got a closer look at Lays, they noticed his pupils were dilated and his speech was slurred. He was put through the standard sobriety tests in a nearby parking lot and later brought to the police station for an impaired by drugs test.
Toxicology results showed Lays had enough chemicals in his system from marijuana to decrease his ability to operate a vehicle. As a result, he was charged with impaired driving and drug possession.
Two months later, on August 3, 2014, police received a call about a domestic assault in Westville. When officers arrived,
the victim said Lays had thrown a shoe at her and pushed her down.
McNeill said Lays was still in the home and when he appeared he told officers he was bit by a dog and the victim’s father had punched him the face. He was placed under arrest for assault and released on an undertaking to stay away from the victim, but two days later breached that court order by reaching her through Facebook.
“He was saying he no longer had conditions not to see her but that was not correct,” said McNeill. “He was adamant he felt he could have contact with her again and showed up at her residence, told her he was sorry, wanted to get help and also stated he felt the undertaking was no good anymore.”
The victim showed police the various Facebook messages he sent to her, including a threat he made about her father that stated, “your dad comes anywhere near me,
I will take a blade and kill him.”
Both Duffy and McNeill acknowledged that Lays’ pre sentence report was not good. He told probation services that he was on the brink of being expelled from community college for poor attendance, that he started smoking marijuana at the age of 12 and, after his arrest, swapped the drugs for alcohol.
She suggested a $500 fine for the drug possession charge since he had no prior convictions.
MacNeill said he felt Lays needed a “wake up call.”
“The most troubling part of the report comes in the offender profile,” said McNeill. “He respects that what he did was wrong and he is sorry, but he said, ‘it’s not like I beat her up and gave her black eye. This is the lowest of low on the scale of assaults. This is no big deal.'”
He recommended a lengthy period of probation for Lays with counseling for his drug and alcohol addiction as well as anger management.
Defence laywer Doug Lloy agreed with McNeill saying he felt a probationary sentence was the best way for his client to be reprimanded but still rehabilitated.
Lays also addressed the court telling the judge that his pre sentence report was misworded. He said he never used to drink,
only smoke marijuana, but since his arrest he drinks a “pint instead of smoking weed” with his friends on the weekend.
He said he was wrong to throw the shoe at the victim, but there was more to the story that was not heard in court, adding that the victim had pushed him and allowed her dog to bite him several times during the incident.
“She was laughing at the fact that the dog bit me and I didn’t want to hit her so I threw a shoe at her,” he said. “She was pushing me and I pushed her to push her off me.”
Atwood replied that any form of assault is a “big deal.” He said offences involving violence can mean jail time for an accused and the victim’s family did the right thing by reporting the offence to the police despite Lays’ belief that they should have kept their nose out of his business.
“I am also concerned that Mr. Lays has little insight into the nature of his need for a lifestyle change,” he said. “He was expelled from his learning program because of absenteeism and his alcohol consumption is alarming.”
Atwood said his offences warranted a period of imprisonment but because this was his first criminal conviction a conditional sentence order was appropriate.
Calling it a “close call,” he warned Lays that if the conditions were followed exactly,
he runs the risk of serving the rest of his sentence behind bars.
In the end, Atwood sentenced Lays to one day in jail for drug possession and one month sentence and one year driving prohibition for DUI. He also received three months each for the assault, breach and threats charges that will run consecutively to the one month DUI charge for a total of 10 months.
Atwood said six months of the 10 month conditional sentence are to be served under house arrest and added that Lays must pay $500 in victim surcharges.