TRURO — A Brookfield man who owes almost $26,000 in overdue fines was sentenced Wednesday to 90 days of house arrest for multiple charges of driving while his licence was suspended.
But provincial court Judge Al Bégin told Joshua Ryan Howe in plain terms that if not for a joint sentencing recommendation he would have been serving time behind bars.
“You are so lucky there is a joint recommendation here; it is not even funny. Let me tell you what I was thinking of doing. You would have been heading to jail for 42 days,” Bégin said.
“Do not ever get caught driving again while you are disqualified,” he continued. “Do you understand what I am getting at here? My displeasure, are you feeling it?”
Howe, 27, of Highway 2, was convicted of four counts of driving while suspended dating to between February and April 2017.
The suspension related to a drinking and driving conviction from September 2016.
He also was convicted of assault for knocking a cellphone out of a woman’s hand.
Howe had four previous convictions for drivingwhile suspended, dating to between January and October 2015. His outstanding fines, which date to between
2011 and 2016, total $25,945.11.
Crown attorney Alison Brown said Howe is banned from driving for at least 10 years and Bégin added another two-year suspension to that on Wednesday.
“Realistically, he’s probably not going to see a valid driver’s licence in this province anyway for quite some time,” she said.
As part of his conditional sentence, Howe is banned from consuming or using alcohol or any other illicit drugs or intoxicating substances. He must also stay away from establishments where alcohol is served as a primary form of business and take counselling for anger management.