June 12th, 2021

Flight from police leads to conditional sentence

By Delon Shurtz on May 18, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A southern Alberta man who threatened a restaurant owner and led police on a high-speed chase has been sentenced to a term of house arrest and curfew.
Mark Daniel Foucault was handed a conditional sentence Monday and placed on probation for 12 months after he pleaded guilty in Lethbridge provincial court to single charges of causing a disturbance and flight from police, and two charges of breaching probation.
Foucault, 33, was ordered to spend six months of his one-year sentence under 24-hour house arrest, followed by six months of curfew, when he must be in his residence between 10:30 p.m. and 7 a.m.
On May 2, 2020 Foucault walked into the Limber Pine Smokehouse in Coleman and began yelling at the owner, Brad Clark. He told the owner there were several “black men” outside who were going to shoot Clark because he abducted his daughter.
Foucault left the restaurant and drove away, but the RCMP saw him driving on Highway 3 toward B.C. and attempted to pull him over. Foucault refused to stop and reached a speed of about 145 km-h during the short chase. Foucault finally stopped when he saw police lay a spike belt on the road, and he was arrested. During a search police found a knife and learned Foucault had smoked methamphetime only a few hours earlier. At the time he was prohibited under a probation order from possessing a weapon and consuming drugs.
Crown Prosecutor Michael Fox said Foucault was suffering from a psychological condition, which reduces his moral culpability for committing the offences, but makes sentencing a challenge.
“How do you deter somebody who’s, at that point in time, not being properly medicated for a psychological condition?”
Fox acknowledged that flight from police often results in actual jail time, but he suggested the changes in Foucault’s life since the offence and his ongoing involvement with Streets Alive Mission in Lethbridge, warrants a lesser sentence.
“I do not believe that at this point in time, Mr. Foucault poses anywhere near the threat to public safety as what he did on the day that he walked in and confronted Mr. Clark.”
Lethbridge lawyer Vincent Guinan pointed out his client has dramatically changed his life and is helping others through the Streets Alive Mission and its Exodus Men’s Recovery Program.
“This is Mark’s second stay with the Exodus program,” Guinan said as he read from a letter recently prepared by Streets Alive co-founder Ken Kissick. “The changes in attitude between stays has been significant. We are seeing more accountability from Mark, along with the acceptance of responsibility for his past actions.”
Guinan said Foucault has become a leader in the program and is setting an example for others on how to live a life of recovery. Guinan added Foucault suffers from a number of social anxiety disorders “and other problems,” which were only made worse by his illicit substance abuse.
As part of his probation, Foucault must not have any contact with Clark and not go to the restaurant. He must reside in an approved residence in Lethbridge, and receive counseling and treatment for substance abuse. He is also prohibited from possessing and consuming alcohol.

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