“Brutal” driving record nets man 14 days in the can

By David F. Rooney

An Enderby man was sentenced in Revelstoke Provincial Court to 14 days in jail and fined $500 for driving while prohibited.

“His Motor Vehicle Act record is brutal,” Crown Attorney Greg Koturbash told Judge Douglas A.¬†Betton this morning. “It’s one of the longer ones I have ever seen.”

He said Michael Brown was stopped for driving without a seatbelt on May 24 and police quickly discovered that he was driving while prohibited.

“He claims he thought the prohibition was over,” Koturbash said.

Local lawyer Chris Johnston, acting as duty counsel for Brown, said the forestry contractor “was with a buddy who was drinking beer and the buddy encouraged him to drive to the liquor store.”

Brown pled guilty to the charge and claimed he would change his ways.

“Your record suggests that you think driving with a licence is optional for you,” Judge Betton told Brown, who will be allowed to serve his time on weekends in a cell at the Salmon Arm RCMP detachment. “You can fully expect that if you come back here things will get ugly.”

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Local retiree Allison S. Stafford pleaded guilty to an impaired driving charge in Revelstoke Provincial Court Thursday.

BC Crown Attorney Grdeg Koturbash told Judge Betton that the 63-year-old former CPR employee was pulled over in the Big Eddy after a Mounties noticed a broken tail light on his pickup truck. When the officer approached the car he smelled liquor and noticed a case of beer beside Stafford.

Koturbash told the court that Stafford has three prior convictions. The last one was in 1995. He asked the judge to impose a a $2,500 fine and a two-year licence suspension.

Defence lawyer Denese Espeut-Post said Stafford is “a helpful and respected member of the community” and produced several letters of reference to buttress that point. She also noted that there are mitigating circumstances the judge should consider when sentencing her client. Stafford’s wife died last year after suffering from dementia and depression and lives in a trailer on a fixed income. She asked for a one-year driving prohibition.

Judge Betton ordered Stafford to pay a $2,500 fine and “split the difference” on the driving suspension ordering him to surrender it for 18 months.

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Matthew Coughlin of Revelstoke didn’t receive any jail time for his drunk driving charge, but he was nicked for $1,000 and lost his licence for one year.

The fourth-year electrical apprentice was nailed on May 31 when he blew through a stop sign on Victoria Road at 3:02 a.m.

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Kent O’Neil of Revelstoke was fined $1,100 and lost his licence for one year after being caught while driving under the influence near Eagle Bay on May 30.

“You really need to think about what you’re doing,” the judge told the 27-year-old liquor store and restaurant employee who pled guilty.

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Barbara Mukanik of Revelstoke also pled guilty to driving while under the influence on May 25 when she failed to halt at a stop sign.

She was fined $1,000 and lost her licence for a year.

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Adam Prescott, also of Revelstoke, pled guilty to drug possession charges laid after he was arrested on Oct. 31 while carrying small quantities of cocaine and ecstasy.

Federal Crown Prosecutor Deborah Pearce told Judge Betton that charges also meant the 25-year-old DJ had breached a probation order from December 2007.

She said Prescott should be fined, prohibited from entering any premises where liquor is served and should be subjected to a nightly curfew.

Judge Betton agreed, saying, “It’s clear you have had substance abuse issues in the past.”

Prescott said he hoped to leave Revelstoke and start over in another town.

Provincial Court hearings are held in Revelstoke on the first Wednesday and Thursday of every month.