By Shurtz, Delon on April 8, 2020.
A southern Alberta man sentenced Monday to four months in jail won’t have to spend any more time behind bars, but he will have to pay several thousand dollars in fines.
Justin Jeremy Price was handed the jail sentence after he pleaded guilty in Lethbridge provincial court to charges of failure to comply with release conditions, failure to appear in court and assault.
Court was told Lethbridge police were dealing with Price last January in response to a complaint by his girlfriend, but simply issued him a warning. He was permitted to stay at a neighbour’s home until things cooled off between him and the complainant, but shortly afterward police were called to a fight and saw Price walking out of the woman’s house.
He claimed she invited him inside then attacked him with a knife. She explained, however, he had returned to her house and entered after she opened the door. He lunged at her, knocking her to the ground, and she grabbed a knife.
Price was released on bail, but on Jan. 30 he breached a condition of his release that prohibited him from contacting the woman. He had returned to her home and had been sending her messages “non-stop” since his release, urging her to resume their relationship.
The Crown said Price even claimed he would blow up her boyfriend’s truck to show his unconditional love for her.
Although sentenced to four months in jail, Price was credited for four months he had already spent in pre-trial custody, effectively concluding his sentence. He will be on probation, however, for one year, during which he must behave himself, stay away from the complainant, and not possess any weapons.
Price also pleaded guilty to charges of drug possession, driving while suspended and driving without insurance.
Police conducted a traffic stop last October in Taber after learning the licence plate on the vehicle had been stolen. Police also learned Price’s licence had been suspended, and the vehicle was not registered or insured. After he was taken to the police station he dropped a plastic bag containing a small amount of methamphetamine.
He was fined a total of $4,125.
Calgary lawyer Shaun Leochko told court his client, who was abused when he was growing up, is on Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped and suffers from learning disabilities, as well as depression and bipolar disorder. He ran away from home when he was only 12 years old, to get away from the abuse, and was actually encouraged by his mother to quit school so he could work. He also suffers from addictions.
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