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Man gets intermittent sentence for dangerous driving case in Corner Brook

Justice.
Justice. - File photos

Without prospects for rehabilitation Judge Paul Noble told a Pasadena man Friday that he’d be looking at five months in jail.

But in Michael Farnell-McCarthy’s case, Noble said the principle of rehabilitation was important and, after balancing that principle with those of deterrence and denunciation, sentenced him to 90 days in jail to be served on an intermittent basis.

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The sentencing hearing took place in provincial court in Corner Brook with Noble appearing via video conference from Clarenville.

Farnell-McCarthy, 32, had been living in Massey Drive in May when he was arrested after attempting to evade police.

He had originally been charged with two counts of dangerous operation of a vehicle, two counts of driving while disqualified and operation of a vehicle while impaired. He was later charged with seven counts of failing to comply with a recognizance.

He pled guilty to single counts of dangerous operation of a vehicle, driving while disqualified and one count of failure to comply with a recognizance. The other charges against him were withdrawn.

On May 27 officers with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary observed a vehicle driven by Farnell-McCarthy travelling at 92 km/h in a 50 km/h zone in the area of Woodbine Ave. There was a female passenger in the vehicle with him.

Police attempted to stop the vehicle, but it did not slow down and continued to be driven in such a manner as to extend the distance between it and the police car.

The vehicle continued on O’Connell Drive at speeds between 90-100 km/h and police were not able to close the distance.

It turned onto Sunnyslope Drive and Carberry’s Road at high rates of speed and without signaling.

Officers found the vehicle in a driveway on Tuma Avenue and Farnell-McCarthy and the female passenger walking to the rear of a nearby home.

He was arrested and later released from custody. The breach occurred on June 11 after one of his sureties informed police he had not returned home. He was released again.

He was taken into custody again on Wednesday.    

Noble told Farnell-McCarthy that deterrence in sentencing has to send a very strong signal to the community that this kind of conduct is simply unacceptable.

The Crown had said in doing what he did he posed a danger to himself, his passenger and the general public.

“That’s a very professional way of saying you’re lucky you didn’t kill someone,” said Noble.

At 32, Noble said Farnell-McCarthy is still relatively young, which is interesting when he looks at his criminal record. He has a previous conviction for driving while disqualified and his first conviction also came in his 30s.

“Now that’s really unusual because you typically see young guys, 19, and they just are burning through all the criminal offences until they almost flame out around 30, usually.”

It’s then they take one of two paths, he said.

Noble said something obviously happened in Farnell-McCarthy’s life over the last couple of years and that was evidenced in what he had to say on his own behalf.

Farnell-McCarthy said he took full responsibility for what he did and the experience has opened up his eyes to what needs to happen in his life.

He said he’s stopped drinking, was thinking about counselling and was 100 per cent apologetic.

Farnell-McCarthy will serve his sentence on weekends. He’s also subject to a 12-month probationary period and is prohibited from driving for two years consecutive to any other prohibition he’s currently under.

He also has to pay $300 in victim fine surcharges to the court.

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