Heroin withdrawal won't get plea withdrawal - InfoNews

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Heroin withdrawal won't get plea withdrawal

July 17, 2014 - 12:28 PM

KAMLOOPS – A Kamloops Supreme Court judge turned down a man’s application to withdraw his guilty pleas after claiming his plea was to get out of jail long enough to obtain heroin and see his dog.

Last November, James Arthur Bellerose, born 1976, pleaded guilty to possession charges in front of a supreme court judge. He was released on bail.

Bellerose was arrested in February 2013 after police searched a vehicle he was a passenger in. Officers discovered a weigh scale with cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and over $2,000 cash.

After he was released, Bellerose applied to withdraw his plea before his sentence hearing. He submitted an affidavit with his reasons for the request.

“I was desperate to get out of jail for several reasons. The strongest of these was probably my need for heroin,” Bellerose wrote. 

“I entered those guilty pleas only so that I could get released,” Bellerose said.

Justice William Ehrcke dismissed Bellerose’s application after reviewing his reasons for admitting guilt.

“Mr. Bellerose has explained that his motive was to get out of custody for a few months over the Christmas period to obtain heroin and see his dog and his girlfriend and his sister,” Ehrcke said in his ruling. “The fact that he had that motive does not raise a doubt about the voluntariness of his pleas.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email gbrothen@infotelnews.ca, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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