Notorious Nova Scotia drunk driver gets 8 1/2 year prison sentence

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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HALIFAX - A habitual drunk driver who slammed his car into a family's SUV smirked at his victims Friday as a judge handed down one of the stiffest sentences in Nova Scotia for impaired driving.
Terry Naugle, his arms slung over the back of the court bench, grinned at Julia McMillan and her teenage daughter as a provincial court judge sentenced him to 8 1/2 years in prison for three driving offences linked to the incident last year.
Naugle, 53, appeared unmoved by the judge's sharp words for a 32-year criminal history that has racked up 68 previous criminal convictions - including 22 for impaired driving and 14 for driving while disqualified.
"Mr. Naugle's record for impaired driving is one of the worst I've ever seen," Judge Frank Hoskins said in a sentencing decision that took nearly two hours to read.
"He is a menace to society when driving a motor vehicle."
In a rare move, Hoskins handed down the maximum five-year sentence for driving while impaired. He also sentenced him to three years for driving while disqualified and six months for fleeing the scene of an accident.
The defence had asked for a sentence of four years minus the usual double credit for time served. Hoskins reduced the sentence to six years and nine months for time served in custody.
Crown lawyer Cheryl Byard said she was pleased with the decision despite asking for 10 years, saying she's never seen such a harsh sentence for an impaired driving offence that didn't result in injuries or fatalities.
"(It's) very unusual, but then again we're dealing with an individual who had 68 prior convictions," she said outside the court.
"He's the worst of the worst-known offenders in Nova Scotia, so it's a very rare sentence."
McMillan said she was largely satisfied with the sentencing even though she would have liked to have seen Naugle declared a long-term offender and get the maximum penalty for each offence.
"We're feeling fairly good," she said outside the court, her daughter Jillian by her side. "They did the best they could - it's not good enough yet, but we're baby steps to improving the system."
McMillan, her daughter and husband were heading home to West Tatamagouche, N.S., after a day shopping in Halifax last March when they ran out of gas.
Her husband parked along an exit ramp off Highway 102 near Enfield, N.S., and headed on foot to a gas station nearby.
David McMillan was jogging back to the SUV with a can of gas when Naugle plowed into the driver's side of their vehicle and sped off. No one was hurt.
Jillian McMillan said she jumped out of her family's car screaming because she thought it was on fire, while her mother struggled to get her back inside.
The McMillans followed the hit-and-run car to another service station and restaurant, where they said he was staggering, slurring his words and smelling of alcohol.
Naugle fled, but was arrested by RCMP officers who had been at the gas station.
He pleaded guilty in October to charges including impaired driving, leaving the scene of an accident and driving while prohibited.
Naugle was also prohibited from driving for life and ordered to submit a DNA sample.
Hoskins listed off his offences, taking roughly 15 minutes to read a rap sheet that dated back to 1974 and included theft, assault and driving convictions.
In many cases, Naugle would reoffend only days after he was sentenced or paroled on other matters.
"Mr. Naugle has a contemptuous attitude toward the law," Hoskins said in court.
"It is rather amazing that Mr. Naugle has not killed himself or someone else."
Naugle testified at a sentencing hearing in 2006 that he started drinking at age nine and regularly uses alcohol to deal with trauma he suffered at the former Shelburne School for Boys when he was 11.

Organizations: RCMP, Shelburne School for Boys

Geographic location: HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, West Tatamagouche Enfield

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