'IT'S A BIT OF A CHALLENGE FOR ME TO ACCEPT YOU ARE SINCERE'
PENTICTON - A wheelchair bound man accused of forcibly taking an accomplice on a 25-minute cruise through town to collect money for a drug debt will have to wait a couple of weeks to find out his fate.
Scott Andrew Mcarthur and Angel Violet Dyck entered guilty pleas just as their trials got underway earlier this week.
Dyck’s sentencing hearing was adjourned to a future date on Thursday, while Mcarthur’s sentencing hearing was adjourned this morning, June 30, to July 18.
Mcarthur is to be sentenced on one count of kidnapping and one count of use of an imitation firearm, charges stemming from an incident that occurred late in the evening of Oct. 16, 2015.
Crown Prosecutor Kurt Froehlich told court Mcarthur had given victim Brett Riopel $200 worth of methamphetamine to sell on his behalf. A dispute arose over payment, resulting in Mcarthur sending two text messages of a threatening nature to Riopel, who did not respond.
Mcarthur caught up with Riopel late on Oct.16, at the residence of co-accused Angel Dyck, where, brandishing what appeared to be a revolver, he forced Riopel and his dog into his vehicle.
With Dyck driving, the three drove to various addresses in Penticton to allow Riopel to call on a former girlfriend and his grandmother for extra cash.
During his confinement in the vehicle, Mcarthur threatened to shoot Riopel and his dog. At one point he was struck with the revolver.
After collecting $295, they drove to Mcarthur’s Skaha Place residence.
While at his grandmother’s, Riopel had called 911. Police arrived at Mcarthur’s Skaha Place residence in time to see the three in the process of exiting the vehicle.
After sorting out who was who, police arrested Mcarthur. They recovered three cell phones, drug paraphernalia, and a folding knife from the vehicle.
Froehlich noted Mcarthur’s 46 previous convictions, calling it “a significant record for property offences and breaching court orders.”
He also noted Mcarthur was serving a conditional sentence while committing the kidnapping, asking Judge Gregory Koturbash to consider a six- to seven-year prison sentence on the charges.
Defence lawyer Matthew Fingas said his client never knew his father and suffered a difficult childhood of abuse and bullying. He began taking drugs and drinking at age 10, and by age 14 had a crack cocaine addiction.
In December 2014, Fingas said his client was swarmed by four gang members after refusing to smuggle drugs into a prison. He was stabbed in the abdomen four times, resulting in doctors having to amputate his legs to save his life.
Since then, Mcarthur has had health issues related to the stabbing which has made life in prison difficult. Fingas said his client has been in custody since the kidnapping, most of the time in protective custody. His life was threatened twice while in custody, once after suffering a concussion in an assault, and in another incident was given the wrong medication.
Fingas said a reasonable sentence for his client’s actions lay in a two- to four-year sentence on both counts.
“This is all my fault, the broken promises. My mom is the only thing I care about in this world. I care about myself, I have a lot of growing to do. I’m not going to get caught up in this gang shit any longer. I’m done with it - I’m sick of life,” he said.
“Forgive me if I say you sound like a broken record, sir. This is what I’ve heard before, and it’s a bit of a challenge for me to accept you are sincere,” Judge Koturbash said, adding Mcarthur never mentioned his victim once in his statement.
The judge asked Fingas why he should accept Mcarthur’s sincerity, “when in my court, I’ve heard these crocodile tears before?”
Fingas replied it wasn’t always a straight line for those undergoing drug rehabilitation, noting the sentence about to be imposed on his client was a much greater one than he’d ever had before.
“It’s a real wake up call for my client,” Fingas said.
Judge Koturbash is expected to render his decision on July 18.
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