Homeless former lawyer asks for 'motel arrest' after latest drug charge - InfoNews

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Homeless former lawyer asks for 'motel arrest' after latest drug charge

February 08, 2017 - 8:00 PM


KELOWNA – A former Alberta lawyer with a history of mental illness represented himself in Kelowna court today and convinced a judge to consider house arrest for his latest drug charge.

Robert Stainton, 56, has a criminal record in B.C. going back to 2001. A former lawyer, he has numerous drug charges and was the subject of a warrant out of Kamloops after he sent a 28-page letter to Kamloops Crown that got him arrested in Kelowna.  

In 2010 Stainton was charged with criminal harassment and making harassing phone calls to a Kamloops drug and alcohol counsellor he met in jail, according to kamloopsnews.ca.

Since then he has been in and out of court for various breaches and was again arrested for possession of controlled substances in April last year. He told Judge Lisa Wyatt he has been clean and living at a motel in Salmon Arm for the past three months.

He is charged with three counts of possession of a controlled substance, four breaches of conditions and obstructing a peace officer. Acting as counsel on his own behalf, the former lawyer asked to be put under house arrest despite being essentially homeless.

Wyatt heard from crown that with a rental vacancy rate of zero in Salmon Arm is zero, a motel is his only option.

“Truth is, an apartment would be better but I need to build up some credit,” Stainton said, adding he fears relapse if sent to jail.

"Hitler beaurocracy can kill," he said.

Judge Wyatt ordered a pre-sentence report to determine if he is a candidate for the conditional sentence order.

“When he’s not homeless and he’s more stable… it’s clear that he’s doing better,” she said. “He’s coherent, he’s not high today. Homelessness and addiction often go hand in hand.”

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