Family comes first, court hears

H.P. court docket
Jan. 20, 2020
Judge D.R. Shynkar

A man from Atikameg will have to fork over a few hundred dollars for driving a vehicle without a licence.

Roger Whitehead Jr., 50, was fined $345 for driving a vehicle while unauthorized when he appeared in High Prairie provincial court Jan. 20.

“I had to go visit my dad, my mom, family comes first,” said Whitehead, who appeared from the Edmonton Remand Centre on CCTV.

Duty counsel Harry Jong said Whitehead travels about 100 km to visit his parents, who are suffering poor health.

“He has to get rides or take a cab; a cab is expensive,” Jong said.

When he couldn’t get a ride, Whitehead took a vehicle and was stopped by police, Jong told court.

Judge D.R. Shynkar gave Whitehead a break in the fine after the accused pleaded guilty.

“I heard last week that the going rate is $500,” Judge Shynkar noted.

“I’m satisfied with $345, considering the circumstances.”

Whitehead is required to pay the fine by July 31.

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