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Six months in jail for recovering Kamloops crystal meth addict with violent tendencies

Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
February 20, 2017 - 6:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - A Kamloops man who is recovering from a crystal meth addiction will spend at least the next month in jail, after pleading guilty to several offences.

James Arthur Deneault, 33, appeared in Kamloops Provincial Court today, Feb. 20, where he confessed to six offences stemming from December 2015 to November 2016.

One of the most serious offences was possession of stolen property. Crown prosecutor Michael Wong told the court a Kamloops man had his truck stolen from his driveway Dec. 22, 2015. It wasn't found until six days later.

Police conducted an investigation and eventually arrested Deneault. Wong said that in Deneault's statement to police, he admitted to being in possession of the truck, but said he never stole it. Deneault said in his statement he found the truck running, with the ignition punched and assumed it was stolen. He said he only wanted to use the truck for a short period of time because he believed it to be stolen.

Nearly one year later, on Oct. 17, 2016, Deneault called 911 from a residence in Chase to report a situation. Wong said the dispatcher wasn't clear on what the incident was but it appeared to be an argument.

Police arrived and questioned the homeowner, who said Deneault had been arguing with his common-law spouse Danika Manuel. Wong said officers questioned Deneault who appeared to be intoxicated. He told officers he called 911 because he was "feeling a little bit sad." He was arrested for breaching a no-contact order that had been put in place between Deneault and Manuel.

On Oct. 22, Deneault was once again arrested in Chase, this time for breaking a window at a drug store. 

The next month, Wong said, Deneault was arrested after an altercation with Manuel and her cousin. Court heard Deneault went to Manuel's cousin's home in Chase on Nov. 5 and all three of them were intoxicated.

Deneault went to lay down in bed while Manuel and her cousin sat beside him and listened to music. Wong said Deneault inexplicably woke up, looked at Manuel and said "you know I could kill you if I wanted to."

Manuel's cousin tried to step in but court heard Deneault pulled her hair and punched her in the face. Deneault then held Manuel and her cousin deployed pepper spray on Deneault.

Wong said officers arrived to find three children in the home hiding their faces with a blanket. 

Weeks later, Deneault was arrested after a group of people he was with called 911 four separate times to report a fight between Deneault and another man. Each time officers responded, Deneault and the other man had fled.

But shortly after midnight on Nov. 19, Wong said Manuel had been assaulted by Deneault. Court heard Manuel was reluctant to speak with police and Deneault had violated his no-contact order again.

Provincial Court judge Len Marchand gave Deneault the chance to speak before sentencing him. Wong had asked for a six-month prison sentence.

"I regret what I did... I'm sorry for my actions," Deneault said. "Sorry does not even come close."

Marchand spoke to Deneault about the over representation of First Nations people in the court system and how he needed to get his life back on track.

Defence lawyer Don Campbell said Deneault has a comprehensive treatment plan for when he is released from prison. He said although Deneault has been clean from crystal meth for five months, it's an issue he has struggled with since he was in his 20s.

"Mr. Deneault has been dealing with an addiction to crystal meth that has been a problem for about four years," Campbell said.

Deneault has three children. Court heard he grew up in a home where alcohol and violence were normalized, before being put into foster care.

He plans on attending family treatment with Manuel after his release from prison.

Along with the six-month jail sentence, Marchand ordered Deneault to be placed on a one-year probation which includes limits on his contact with Manuel. He cannot consume drugs or alcohol, cannot enter a bar or liquor store and is not allowed contact with the owner of the stolen truck or Manuel's cousin.

"I know a lot of people who have been lower, done worse, but climbed out of it," Marchand said.

With credit for time-served, Deneault could be released from prison as early as the end of next month.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 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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