December 14th, 2017

Accused tries to withdraw guilty pleas after judge spots history of issues

By Peggy Revell on March 2, 2017.


prevell@medicinehatnews.com
@MHNprevell

A sentencing went sideways Wednesday after the accused didn’t like the direction the judge was heading and wanted to withdraw his guilty pleas.

Benjamin Oscar Adam appeared by CCTV from the Medicine Hat Remand Centre, with his defence counsel entering guilty pleas on his behalf to stealing $230 in items from Canadian Tire, failing to comply with an order to not be in contact with a woman he had previously been in a domestic relationship with, as well as obstructing and resisting a police officer.

As part of facts admitted, on Feb. 10, the woman was driving along a local roadway when Adam — on a bicycle — began to yell at her and then jumped into the front passenger seat, continuing to yell.

The woman proceeded to drive to a nearby convenience store, go inside and lock herself in the washroom. Adam followed her into the store, continuing to yell at her, only leaving after staff told him to. When the woman came out, she found her tires slashed.

The next day, police went to arrest Adam at his residence, and he proceeded to flee from the officer on a BMX bike, taking them on a three-block chase before being caught.

In looking at Adam’s sentencing, Judge Darwin Greaves began questioning the history and connection between past convictions — including uttering threats and criminal harassment that has led to months of jailtime — and if the victim involved was the same woman, and if this was a case of a serial female abuser.

With Greaves asking for more details, Adam interrupted the sentencing, stating he wanted to withdraw his guilty plea and there was no proof of his actions against the woman. This led defence counsel to withdraw from the record.

Greaves adjourned the matter until March 15, so that Adam can seek new counsel, but Greaves will remain seized with sentencing and has the final say on whether the pleas can be vacated.

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