Cawston man avoids jail time for replica handgun incident

PENTICTON - A man accused of brandishing a replica handgun in an unprovoked incident in Penticton has escaped jail time.

Ron Douglas Evans pleaded guilty in Penticton court to assault with a weapon and possession of a weapon in connection with an incident in Penticton on the evening of Oct. 8, 2015.

Evans was give a conditional sentence today, May 30, of 12 months of house arrest and two years of probation.

Crown Prosecutor Nashina Devji told court Evans approached an 18-year-old at the corner of Nanaimo Avenue and Main Street. Evans was looking for a young Cawston man who he believed was involved with drugs, and pulled a gun from his waist band and pointed it at the youth.

Evans continued down the street and the youth was later picked up by his father, who called police.

Evans was pulled over by a police officer on patrol a short time later, who arrested him at gunpoint. A search revealed an air gun on Evans’ person.

Devji said Evans' pre-sentence and psychiatric report revealed Evans suffered from a sad childhood and had been victimized in foster care homes. He also suffered from a “cluster of mental health and personality disorders.” The psychiatric report rated him at a low to medium risk for re-offending.

Devji, who called the incident “a serious victimization of a young person,” asked Judge Bradford Chapman for a 60 to 90 jail term and two years probation.

Defence lawyer Kathryn Lundman said her 48-year-old client came into Penticton to find a young man he believed to be on drugs, bringing the gun for protection from those in the drug trade. He had been asking the 18-year-old about the whereabouts of the person he was looking for and had shown him the gun to indicate he had protection.

She asked Judge Chapman for a suspended sentence and probation with a strict set of terms.

Evans expressed remorse for his actions, telling the judge he didn’t have an appreciation for how frightening his actions might have been that night but realized it now. He said he intended no malice and was showing the gun off to indicate he could take care of himself.

“Generally speaking, people go to jail for these offences,” Chapman said.

Calling the case one of “unique circumstances,” Champman said he didn’t see jail as the best place for Evans, agreeing to the suspended sentence. Evans can only leave the vicinity of his Cawston trailer under strict circumstances for four months, followed by eight more months of curfew that will limit his whereabouts from 10 p.m until 6 a.m.

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