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Entrapment hearing denied for man who broke into Kamloops business, stole truck

Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
September 02, 2016 - 4:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - A man who says he had no choice but to break the law has had his police entrapment defence denied in Kamloops court today.

Former psychiatric nurse Jonathan Phillips, 40, will be sentenced next month for breaking into a business, stealing a truck and leading police on a low-speed chase through the city.

Phillips asked Supreme Court Judge Jennifer Duncan for a five-day hearing of his defence of entrapment. Duncan tossed out the application in Kamloops court today, Sept. 2, saying there wasn't enough evidence to justify an entrapment hearing.

Phillips claims he committed his crimes as a last-ditch effort to get out of the mental health system. He said he had no choice but to break the law so he could be put into jail instead of arrested under the Mental Health Act.

"There's no evidence the police offered Mr. Phillips an opportunity to commit the crimes he was convicted of," Duncan said.

She also read in her decision she's mindful of the fact Phillips is representing himself.

Phillips was convicted by a jury last month of break and enter, possession of stolen property over $5,000, flight from peace officer and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

In the early morning hours of June 18, Phillips broke into a business on McGill Road, setting off a security alarm.

Duncan said Phillips stole the keys to a truck and took off with a red Ford F-150 which had a John Deere trailer attached to it. A police cruiser began following the vehicle with its sirens and lights on, but the truck didn't slow down. Another cruiser joined in the chase, but none of the vehicles went faster than 50 kilometres per hour.

The truck led police through downtown Kamloops during bar closing time. The cruisers tried to box Phillips in but he swerved into the oncoming traffic lane. He then drove the wrong way down Seymour Street. Both officers decided to call off the chase due to safety concerns.

Phillips eventually made his way down to the Sandman Hotel on Lorne Street and parked on the sidewalk. An officer told him to get out of the vehicle, but Phillips didn't listen. Duncan said the officer hit Phillips twice in the arm with the butt of his pistol. Phillips testified he wanted to be arrested in a public place with security cameras.

Phillips had argued in a previous court appearance he had been arrested under the Mental Health Act before, and wasn't treated with respect. He said he'd prefer going to prison.

Phillips's next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 13, when a sentencing hearing is expected to begin.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
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