H.P. court docket
July 29, 2019
Judge G.W. Paul
A young man who tried to flee from police while driving in a Slave Lake residential district will spend almost six months behind bars.
Jonah Chad Sawan, 23, of Atikameg, was sentenced to 180 days in jail after pleading guilty to dangerous driving when he appeared in High Prairie provincial court July 29.
He was credited for six days served in Peace River Correctional Centre leaving him with 174 days left to serve.
During sentencing, which included numerous other offences, Judge G.W. Paul noted the sentences were appropriate for the crimes.
“The offences are grave, he was driving in a dangerous manner,” Judge Paul said.
“He was drinking and driving and outrunning police in a residential neighbourhood.”
Another aggravating factor was he was in a near collision with a police vehicle.
Sawan, who appeared in court on CCTV, was driving at 80 km/h in a residential area in Slave Lake on May 18, said Andre Arseneau, chief Crown prosecutor.
Sawan damaged a fence at the Slave Lake Airport before he drove along Caribou Trail and Highway 88 and parked at Sawridge Truck Stop where Slave Lake RCMP stopped him, he added.
In addition to the jail time, Sawan was suspended from driving for 18 months.
Court heard Sawan provided breath samples of 120 mg after being stopped. As a result, he pleaded guilty to driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content over 80 mg. He was fined $1,500 as well as being suspended from driving for 12 months, concurrent to the 18-month prohibition previously rendered.
Sawan was also on probation at the time of the incident, the judge noted.
During sentencing, Judge Paul rejected a joint submission by the Crown and lawyer Harry Jong, who recommended a sentence of 60 days.
“I cannot accept the joint submission,” Judge Paul said.
“We want to deter the offender from doing this again. We try to tell others you can’t act that way.”
Sawan has little memory of the incident.
“He doesn’t remember much because he was intoxicated,” Jong said.
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A Whitefish woman is free after pleading guilty to four charges in High Prairie provincial court July 29.
Brian Stephanie Susan Cunningham, 35, pleaded guilty to two counts of obstructing a peace officer, one count of breach of probation, and failing to comply with conditions.
She was given credit for time already served while awaiting her court appearance and guilty pleas.
Cunningham, who appeared in court from Fort Saskatchewan Correctional Centre on CCTV, was also fined $300 each after pleading guilty to two charges of failing to appear in court, and $200 each on three counts of failing to appear in court.
“You’ve got to straighten out your life,” Judge G.W. Paul told the woman.
“Stay out of trouble and look after your kids.”
Cunningham disrupted High Prairie RCMP while they were investigating another person on Sept. 5, 2018, said Andre Arseneau, chief Crown prosecutor.
“She was intoxicated and was yelling and screaming at police.”
She also told the other person not to co-operate with police.
During another incident on Dec. 14, court heard Cunningham identified herself by a false name.
It was not the end of her legal troubles. Cunningham breached her probation orders by not completing 100 hours of community service, and by not reporting as ordered to her bail supervisor.
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Kelsey Tamara Grey, 25, of Whitefish, was sentenced to 14 days in custody after pleading guilty to a domestic assault.
However, she was given credit for time served and released.
It’s a domestic assault, said Andre Arseneau, chief Crown prosecutor.
Grey, who appeared from the Edmonton Remand Centre on CCTV, and another female in a relationship were drinking and fighting when Grey hit and “slammed” the victim to the ground, said Arseneau.
Grey was also sentenced to seven days in jail for failing to appear in court for trial and credited for time served.
She was also fined $200 for failing to appear in court on a docket day, but credited for the fine by appearing in court.
Grey had no previous adult record.
She admits her problem is alcohol and her associates.
“I hang around the wrong people,” she told court.
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John Henry Gaudette, 35, of Driftpile, was fined $200 after pleading guilty to breach of probation.
Court heard the accused did not complete treatment for anger management by May 12 as ordered, said Andre Arseneau, chief Crown prosecutor, nor did he file a report of completing treatment by that date.
Gaudette was on duty elsewhere, duty counsel Harry Jong says.
“He went firefighting,” Jong said.
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Tyson Trey Thomas, 21, was fined $200 after pleading guilty to failing to comply with probation.
Thomas was intoxicated in a public place against court order, says Andre Arseneau, chief Crown prosecutor.
“He was heavily intoxicated wearing one shoe.”
Thomas was excused from paying the fine.
“You paid your fine by coming to court and spending time in custody,” Judge G.W. Paul said.
The judge urged the young man to clean up his life that includes an extensive criminal record.
“There’s help out there for you,” Judge Paul told him.
“Get the help you need, it’s addiction-related.”