Current Conditions

Partly Cloudy
4.3°C

Hedley man suffering from 'cannabis abuse' urged to seek treatment while in custody

Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
February 16, 2017 - 4:30 PM

PENTICTON - A minor family squabble turned into five separate charges for a Hedley man diagnosed with an addiction to marijuana.

Coleman Aiken, 20, entered guilty pleas to three counts of breach, one count of unauthorized possession of a firearm, and assault in Penticton court today, Feb.16.

Crown Prosecutor Andrew Vandersluys told court Aiken’s pre-sentence report revealed he did not have a mental disorder, but did suffer from a cannabis use disorder that put him at low to moderate risk for violent behaviour. The report advised Aiken also suffered from anger management, substance abuse and family relationship issues.

Vandersluys said Aiken’s problems with the law began on Mar. 5, 2015, when police were called to his family’s residence on Scott Avenue in Hedley following a family dispute in which Aiken was described as out of control.

When police arrived, the situation had subdued, however. They left, only to be called back to the residence later in the morning when Aiken’s mother called to say he was once again out of control and breaking things.

Police arrived to find Aiken barricaded in his room. During this visit, police were told Aiken had a rifle in his bedroom. A key was provided to the locked bedroom door and police were able to gain entry, removing the barricade and arresting Aiken without incident.

Aiken told police the gun was an heirloom and a gift from his father. He told police he was licensed to own it, but that was later proved to be untrue. The rifle was stored in a rifle case and contained no ammunition.

Aiken was released on a promise to appear, with conditions to stay away from his mother and her house.

The following week Aiken breached bail conditions by failing to report to his parole officer. On June 26, 2015, police found him in his mother’s house, again in breach of conditions. He was arrested and taken to Keremeos RCMP detachment’s lock up. On the way he was uncooperative, spitting, calling the officer names and punching the plexiglas divider in spite of repeated warnings to stop.

On Dec. 26, 2016 he is alleged to have assaulted a 14-year-old female acquaintance following an argument. Police arrested and revoked Aiken’s bail on Jan. 12, 2017, after finding him once again at the Scott Avenue address.

A joint submission put forward between Crown and defence lawyer Nelson Selamaj requested a 42 day jail sentence and 18 months probation.

Selamaj said his client was a “young person who hadn’t figured his life out yet,” asking Judge Gregory Koturbash not to place no go conditions on Aiken with respect to visiting his mother or remaining in Hedley. He said Aiken’s mother was the only relative he could live with, and could end up in the street otherwise. Selamaj said his client had ties to the community, serving on the volunteer fire department, and would be isolated without his family in Hedley.

Aiken expressed remorse to the judge saying he was sorry for the trouble he’d caused.

Judge Koturbash agreed to the joint submission acknowledging Aiken’s guilty plea, remorse and young age. He said Aiken "wasn’t at the stage where banishment from Hedley is necessary.”

Koturbash strongly urged Aiken to seek opportunities for treatment, including admission to a residential treatment facility, to get the upper hand on his cannabis abuse issue.

With time served, Aiken has six days remaining in his jail sentence, followed by 18 months probation and a $200 victim surcharge fee. He also has 90 days to find someone to transfer ownership of his rifle to, or have it forfeited.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 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.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
InfoTel News Ltd

  • Popular penticton News
  • Comments
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile