A Holberg man received time behind bars last week for possession of a controlled substance, after a chain of events that began with an argument.
Kevin McLaughlin, a 40-year-old man living and working in Holberg as a log loader had travelled to Port Hardy last September when the incident occurred.
The RCMP received a complaint from a worker at the Esso filling station about an alleged assault. McLaughlin had allegedly been seen pushing his girlfriend as the pair came down the hill towards the gas station. His girlfriend had then came into the station and asked staff to call the police.
Meanwhile, another male had got into an altercation with McLaughlin outside the store, apparently in relation to the defendant’s alleged assault on his girlfriend.
When RCMP arrived on scene the defendant ran to his girlfriend and yelled at her to “Tell them I didn’t hit you.” Responding officers noted the smell of alcohol on McLaughlin’s breath, and took him to the station to be processed.
The assault charges did not materialize after witnesses became uncooperative and refused to make statements, although a charge of Possession of a Controlled Substance was brought to bear after the defendant was searched at the police station.
Officers found a bag containing 8.5 grams of cocaine in the front pocket of McLaughlin’s jeans.
Crown said that, given the large amount of the drug involved, it would ask for either a high fine or jail time.
Counsel for the defence explained to the Honourable Judge Saunderson that the amount was explained by the defendant’s place of residence. The Defence stated that, since McLaughlin lived and worked in Holberg, he was unable to make regular trips to Port Hardy to buy the drug, and so bought larger amounts less frequently. The Defence also pointed out that the full amount was in a single bag and affirmed that cocaine was intended for personal use.
Judge Saunderson ruled that the defendant serve three days in jail, with credit for the one day he had already spent in custody.
In another case before the court Lana Anderson faced three charges of Breach of Undertaking requiring her to avoid alcohol.
The three counts represented three separate occasions where Anderson was discovered intoxicated in public by RCMP officers.
In a joint submission Crown and Defence Counsel outlined the circumstances of the charges, and informed the judge both parties would be content with a disposition of one week in jail with credit for one day served.
Judge Saunderson spoke to Anderson about her drinking habits before asking her, “Would you say there is a problem between you and booze?” Anderson nodded her agreement.
The Judge pointed out to counsels that their proposed sentence made no provision for addictions treatment and asked if either would care to amend their submissions. Crown said that they would not be opposed to a condition being added to the sentence.
The Judge told Anderson, “Jail is of no help to you,” before rejecting the suggested disposition. Instead he opted to give Anderson a one-year probation, without specific conditions as he felt this could impact the probation officer’s options.
The Judge then told Anderson that he was putting the resources of the province of B.C. behind her and urged her to take advantage of the opportunity to get treatment for her addiction.