Penticton man opts for jail time in lieu of paying fines | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton man opts for jail time in lieu of paying fines

Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
August 16, 2017 - 4:37 PM

PENTICTON - A Penticton man facing $3,700 in fines will pay the debt with jail time.

William Jonathan Hill opted to spend an additional 42 days in jail rather than pay outstanding fines of $3,700, following sentencing in Penticton court on Monday, Aug. 14 for driving while prohibited and failing to appear in court.

Crown prosecutor Andrew Vandersluys told court Hill was stopped by police on Oct. 23, 2016 at 10:30 p.m. at a roadside check.

Hill was asked for his driver’s license, which he said was suspended. A police check confirmed Hill to be a suspended driver and he was arrested and released on a promise to appear.

Vandersluys said Hill had a “considerable driving history” noting two prior convictions for the same offence. He also had a prior conviction for failure to appear in 2013. He was required by the court to appear on Dec. 14, 2016 and failed to do so.

On the charge of driving while suspended, Vanderluys sought a 30 day jail term, an one year driving prohibition and a mandatory fine. He asked for a further 15 days jail time for the charge of failure to appear.

Vandersluys also noted an application submitted by defence lawyer James Pennington for warrant of committal over failure to pay fines totalling $3,700.

He said based on minimum wage of $10.85 per hour, he calculated jail time in lieu of the fines to be 42 days.

Pennington said his 48-year-old-client had suffered injuries in an accident that caused injuries to his neck and spinal cord preventing him from working in his former profession as a truck driver

Pennington noted it started going bad for Hill after a first conviction in 2009 after which "things started spiralling out of control."

Judge Gregory Koturbash sentenced Hill to 30 days for driving while prohibited and 15 days for failing to appear. Hill had pleaded guilty to both charges.

He also sentenced Hill to 42 days for the outstanding fines totalling $3,700, noting he was satisfied Hill had the means to pay the fines, but opted not to do so.

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