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Okanagan woman sentenced for randomly assaulting two strangers, drunk driving

Shara Marianne Givens, 27, has 21 criminal convictions since 2009 when she was found guilty of impaired driving for the first time. Two years later she refused to provide a breath sample and was caught driving without a licence. Today, May 5, 2017, she was sentenced to 14 months in jail for driving drunk, assaulting two people and other charges.
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May 05, 2017 - 8:00 PM

KELOWNA – An Okanagan woman with a tragic past was sentenced to jail today for driving drunk, leaving the scene of two accidents she caused, leaving a restaurant without paying and randomly assaulting two women.

Shara Marianne Givens, 27, has 21 criminal convictions since 2009, when she was found guilty of impaired driving for the first time. Two years later she refused to provide a breath sample and was caught driving without a licence.

She has two prior convictions for assault in 2015 and assault causing bodily harm in February 2016.

Givens was on probation for that assault on September 11, 2016 when she crashed into a parked SUV and collided with a travel trailer in a driveway causing thousands in damage.

Crown lawyer Colin Forsyth says it took a concerned citizen forcibly taking the keys from Givens in a Superstore parking lot to get her to stop. 

“She was taken to the detachment where she did not provide a sample of her breath,” he said in Kelowna provincial court Friday, May 5. “It appears that the reason she didn’t...  was she was too intoxicated. She was vomiting into garbage cans. Said she was tired and wanted to go to sleep.”

Two months later, on Nov. 29, Givens walked into a crowded Subway restaurant on Lawrence Avenue, stepped between customers in line and punched an employee in the face.

One of the customers called 911 and followed Givens until police arrived and arrested her for assault.

Givens told a psychiatrist after her arrest she did it because she was once employed by Subway and didn’t like it. The victim, who was pregnant at the time, was treated for minor bruising of the cheek.

Givens was released with conditions the next morning but by noon she was already causing trouble at a local sushi restaurant.

Forsyth says Givens became angry when the server refused to give her a fourth beer without ordering food. She broke a bottle of soya sauce on the floor and left without paying the $40 bill.

Shortly after she was pulling two suitcases down the middle of Pandosy Street downtown when a woman offered to help her with her bags.

“Givens walked up to her, said she was sorry but had to do this, then punched her in the face,” Forsyth told Judge Ellen Burdett. “(The victim) said she had no idea who she was and that it was unprovoked.”

Givens, who appeared at her sentencing via video from Fraser Regional Correctional Centre, apologized to the two women she assaulted but made no mention of the impaired driving.

Givens’ lawyer Victor Janicki says her antisocial behavior was taught at a young age.

“Her mother is simply one of the worst mothers that I’ve come across reading these reports,” he said. “It’s tragic, this woman’s lifestyle. (Givens) was completely out of control, there’s no excuse for hitting strangers, but one can look at her background and understand the depths of despair this woman lived with.”

Judge Burdett handed down a total sentence of 14 months for pleading guilty to refusing to provide a breath sample, driving without a licence, two breaches of parole, two assaults and the dine and dash.

Burdett called the case “tragic” but saw little remorse or acceptance of responsibility.

“She has yet to have any insight into what motivates her criminality,” she said. “She is not amenable to counselling. She’s not going to get any help from her mother.”

She was given 237 days enhanced credit for time served awaiting sentencing.

She will be on parole for two years after her release.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 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.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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