Homeless woman pleads guilty in Penticton court to resisting arrest, possession of knife - InfoNews

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Homeless woman pleads guilty in Penticton court to resisting arrest, possession of knife

Penticton courthouse
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
September 20, 2016 - 6:30 PM

PENTICTON - A homeless woman from the Penticton area was released from jail today after pleading guilty to charges stemming from two incidents in Kelowna earlier this year.

Defence lawyer James Pennington entered guilty pleas on behalf of Allison Suzanne Taylor, 52, in Penticton court, Sept. 20, on two counts of willfully resisting a peace officer and one count of possession of a dangerous weapon.

The charges stemmed from two incidents in Kelowna in June and July of this year.

Crown Prosecutor Kurt Froehlich said Kelowna bylaw officers responded to a complaint of someone in a sleeping bag on a street in downtown Kelowna on June 11.

Officers arrived to find Taylor with another woman. When asked to identify themselves, both women gave false identities.

As police sorted out their true identities, Taylor attempted to leave the scene. When police attempted to stop her, she began running. A struggle ensued, and Taylor was eventually arrested.

Concerns about Taylor’s health led to a brief exam by paramedics prior to her being jailed. She was released on bail June 13.

On July 7, police identified Taylor, who was wanted on an outstanding warrant, walking across the Bennett Bridge in Kelowna, pushing a walker laden with bags. 

When police attempted to arrest her, Taylor struggled, yelling incoherently and making threats to stab herself. After subduing and arresting Taylor, police found a small knife on the pavement.

Froehlich noted Taylor’s criminal record in asking for a sentence of time served to Judge Meg Shaw. He also asked for a one year term of probation with conditions to take counselling to deal with drug and alcohol addictions.

Pennington said his client had been doing well until mental health authorities found themselves with inadequate resources to deal with her in Penticton, and sent her file to Kelowna where she ran into an acquaintance she was under orders to stay away from.

Taylor was on her way back to a homeless camp on the other side of the bridge when she was arrested by police in the second incident. Pennington said she had recently been assaulted and decided to put up a fight until she understood the men were police officers.

Pennnington called her case one which had “fallen through the cracks,” noting her files were never sent to Kelowna. He said his client had been drying out while in jail where she had been since Aug. 2.

Judge Shaw agreed with Crown’s sentencing recommendation. With enhanced credit for time served, Taylor was released after serving 74 days on the three charges. She must also serve a one year probationary term that includes counselling, no alcohol or drugs, and no weapons.

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