Penticton court shows mercy on suspended driver with lengthy driving history
By Steve Arstad
A Naramata man with a notorious driving record was shown some leniency in Penticton Court this week due to his personal circumstances.
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October 27, 2015 - 11:30 AM
PENTICTON - A Naramata man with a notorious driving record was given a break in Penticton court on Monday, Oct. 26 because of his personal circumstances.
Peter John Roberts appeared before Judge Meg Shaw on Monday after pleading guilty to one count of driving while his license was suspended.
Crown Prosecutor Kurt Froehlich told court Roberts was stopped on May 9, 2015 on Naramata Road at approximately 1:30 a.m. for driving 72 kilometres per hour in a 50 km/h zone. Police discovered Roberts did not have a valid drivers’ licence. It was suspended since April 12, 2013.
Froehlich noted Roberts’ lengthy motor vehicle record, including four excessive speeding tickets, six 24-hour roadside prohibitions, seven charges for driving without insurance, a previous conviction for driving while prohibited and a conviction for driving with more than .08 alcohol in the blood.
Froehlich noted the minimum sentence for Roberts’ latest infraction was a $500 fine, also noting Roberts “unenviable record.” He asked Shaw to consider a $1,500 fine and a two-year license suspension.
Defence lawyer Norm Yates told Shaw Roberts, 46, had been managing the family’s soft fruit orchard for the past four years, following the deaths of his father and sister. He was also responsible for most of the daily needs of his 78-year-old mother, who is becoming “increasingly frail.”
Yates asked court to consider a lesser fine, saying the request was “not unfair, given the nature of the record,” asking Judge Shaw to consider Roberts’ personal situation. Yates asked for a one-year suspended sentence, saying his client “finally gets it.”
Judge Shaw noted Roberts had a pattern of vehicle infractions dating from 1983 until 2013, also noting none of the previous charges was for the same offence as the one Roberts was currently before the courts for. She also noted Roberts had not committed any further infractions in the past two years.
“I hope you have got it, sir,” Judge Shaw told Roberts, telling him he would probably be looking at jail time should he appear in court again for similar offences. She fined Roberts to a $750 fine, plus a 15 per cent victim surcharge, and a one-year driving prohibition because of his circumstances. He has one year to pay the fines.
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