PENTICTON - A man sentenced to two years in a federal penitentiary in Penticton court today hopes his time there will be well served.
There was little disagreement between Crown, defence, and the accused, Jason Adam Poulin, in defining terms of his incarceration following Poulin’s sentencing for breach, theft, assault and failure to stop at an accident scene today, Sept. 26.
Federal prisons typically provide better opportunities for counselling and rehabilitation from, in Poulin's case, a serious methamphetamine addiction.
Crown Prosecutor Ann Lerechs told court Poulin was apprehended May 27 of this year when two Osoyoos residents caught him rifling through their pickup truck. The residents were able to catch Poulin as he tried to flee, holding him until police arrived.
One of the residents involved, a 46-year-old woman, suffered a fractured rib and pulled muscles in the attempted theft.
Poulin was also in breach of a court ordered curfew from a previous charge when the incident occurred.
In a second incident on July 15, Poulin was implicated as the driver of a pickup truck stolen a few days before in Okanagan Falls, which he crashed into an Oliver vineyard that morning.
Poulin was witnessed by a motorist in a slumped over position at the steering wheel as he drove off the road, through a ditch and into the orchard, striking a Mexican migrant farmworker in the arm. He fled the vehicle, and was eventually arrested at his residence on July 17, following a curfew check the day before that found him in breach.
The farmworker suffered a broken arm in the incident.
Lerechs told Judge Gregory Koturbash that Crown and defence counsel were seeking a joint submission involving a two year term for Poulin, noting his long record of convictions that included 18 prior property crimes and 17 breaches.
“The less said, the better,” said defence lawyer Robert Maxwell, who said his 33-year-old client was actually "quite bright" when not on meth. He said his client was fortunate he didn’t kill the orchard worker, noting Poulin doesn’t remember the accident. He said his client deserves to go to a federal penitentiary, where he would find better programs for drug and alcohol treatment.
Poulin apologized for his behaviour. He claimed he didn’t know the severity of the injury he caused. He said he was in a panicked, 'flight mode' when he ran from the accident scene.
“I’m remorseful for the harm I’ve caused. I don’t consider myself a violent person,” he said.
Judge Koturbash noted Poulin’s early guilty plea and Poulin’s apparent insight into his behaviour.
“Property crime is up in Penticton and Oliver, and many of these offences are caused by people addicted to drugs,” Judge Koturbash said, in agreeing to the joint submission of two years.
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