September 17, 2015 - 1:00 PM
PENTICTON - An avid hunter will have his firearm returned to him after his rifle was found improperly stored in his vehicle during a roadside check.
Kimberly Brad Christensen appeared in Penticton Provincial Court yesterday, Sept. 16, to enter a guilty plea on a charge of careless use or storage of a firearm.
Christensen ran into problems on Dec. 3, 2014, when he was stopped by police at approximately 10 p.m in the 500 block of downtown Penticton.
The officer detected the odour of alcohol on Christensen and began conducting an impaired driving investigation. A second officer arrived on scene, and while assessing Christensen’s vehicle noticed the stock end of a rifle in the rear window of his Jeep Cherokee.
Police observed Christensen was unable to maintain his balance and subsequently searched the vehicle, recovering a .270 calibre rifle, unloaded and in good working order in the back of the vehicle. A small backpack in the back contained ammunition, as well as some full and empty beer cans.
Christensen was arrested and subsequently released on a promise to appear.
Judge Meg Shaw heard Christensen did not have any prior related offences in his criminal record. Defence lawyer Norm Yates told court Christensen had been a hunter since he was very young. He said Christensen had already paid a high price for the offence, having been dealt with by police because he had alcohol, but not dealt with as an impaired driver.
As a result, his vehicle had been impounded and he had been required to have an interlock installed, at a total cost of $2,400.
Yates said Christensen had been hunting on his own the day in question, and at the end of the day had consumed two beer with dinner. Yates said Christensen had been in a serious motor vehicle accident in the past that had left him with a speech impediment, and a limp. He said his client feels persecuted by police from time to time, because he “looks like he’s been drinking.”
Yates argued for a fine of $250 - $500 as opposed to Crown Prosecutor Kurt Froelich’s request for a fine of $500 -$700.
Judge Shaw noted Christensen’s lack of related offences and guilty plea, adding counsel’s explanation didn’t explain the full and empty beer cans in the vehicle. She fined Christensen $300, giving him nine months to pay. He also faces a 15 per cent victim surcharge, but will be allowed his rifle back.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015