Court Docket – ‘Businesses want to make a living,’ says judge

H.P. court docket
June 6, 2022
Judge S.P. Hinkley

A young High Prairie man is spending another month behind bars after pleading guilty to several charges, including thefts and breaches.
Ben McVey, 21, was handed a global sentence of 52 days after he pleaded guilty to eight charges in High Prairie provincial court June 6 including two counts of shoplifting under $5,000, two counts of breach of probation, three counts of failing to comply with an undertaking, and one count of failing to appear in court.
Court heard McVey stole a bottle of Bombay Gin valued at $31 from Ace Liquor Store in High Prairie, Crown prosecutor Sheen Kachroo said.
Later, McVey went into Peavey Mart in High Prairie and stole Pepperettes and popcorn valued at about $40, the Crown alleged.
A store worker told police McVey appeared very erratic and under the influence of some kind of intoxicant, Kachroo told court.
McVey was also sentenced for breaching probation when he failed to report to his probation officer several times on each of the two charges, the Crown added.
McVey failed to comply with an undertaking on three counts when he went into two High Prairie liquor stores where he is banned. He went into High Prairie Liquor Store once and Ace Liquor Store twice. Both times, he stole a bottle of liquor.
McVey also failed to appear in court for a docket date.
Judge S.P. Hinkley told McVey that liquor stores are frustrated with him.
“They’ve had enough of you,” Judge Hinkley said.
“Downtown businesses want to make a living.”
McVey apologized for his behaviour when the judge spoke with him.
“I’m sorry,” McVey said.
Duty counsel Harry Jong added McVey has addictions and health issues, including serious drug, alcohol and mental problems.
“He says he’s losing his mind half the time,” Jong said.
“He knows why and I know why.”
McVey given credit for 18 days already served in jail.


Brayden Lee Belle- rose, of Goodfish Lake, formerly of High Prairie, was sentenced to probation for 12 months after pleading guilty to unlawfully being in a dwelling house.
Court heard the charge arose when Bellerose broke into a residence where he was not welcomed, Crown prosecutor Terrance Hudson told court.
Bellerose went to the home April 16, 2021 around 3 a.m. and knocked on the door but nobody let him in.
“He entered through an unlocked bedroom window,” Hudson said.
As part of his probation, Judge S.P. Hinkley ordered Bellerose to take treatment and counselling for substance abuse and provide proof that he completed it by the end of the 11th month.
Bellerose has struggled with alcohol much of his life, lawyer Derek Renzini said.
“He knows he has to deal with his alcohol addiction,” he added.
Bellerose has also battled with mental health issues, he noted.
Bellerose was also fined a total $1,300 after pleading guilty to four counts of failing to comply with release conditions.
“Every breach starts with alcohol,” Judge Hinkley noted during sentencing.
Court heard Bellerose breached a curfew three times when he was not at an approved residence from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. One time he was in Grande Prairie where he was highly intoxicated, another time he was drunk outside a residence in High Prairie. A third time when officers made a curfew check, his parents said Bellerose had not been at the residence for four to five days.
Bellerose breached another order when he was in contact with a named female in the order.
Despite all his troubles, Bellerose told court he wants to move on to a life away from crime.
“I want to take the proper steps,” he said.
Bellerose was also ordered to provide a DNA sample.


Kyle Edward Omina- yak, 31, of Little Buffalo, was sentenced to 14 days in jail after pleading guilty to uttering threats.
The charge arose after police received a call from a Loon Lake woman who reported May 10 that a male sent her numerous threatening email and text messages, Crown prosecutor Sheen Kachroo told court.
Both had been in a domestic relationship.
Ominayak apologized for his actions.
“I’m sorry for what I did,” he said.
“I’m going through a lot in life.”
He admitted in court his alcohol addiction has caused problems.
“We broke up about two months ago and it hurt me.”
Judge S.P. Hinkley urged him to respond to anger in positive ways.
“You’ve got to find better ways to deal with anger,” he suggested.
“You’ve got to change.”
Ominayak told court he has completed anger management.
Duty counsel Harry Jong added Ominayak told him that alcohol has not been good for him.
“He drinks a lot and when he drinks, he does stupid things,” Jong said.
Ominayak was given credit for nine days already served in jail.


Mara Catherine Morgan, 24, of Edmonton, was sentenced to probation for six months after pleading guilty to failing to comply with release conditions.
Court heard Morgan was not at home during a curfew from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., Crown prosecutor Sheen Kachroo alleged.
Morgan was also fined $400 for possession of property under $5,000 and $300 on a second count of possession of property under $5,000.
Police were in an Atikameg residence on March 4 and searching for weapons when they found Morgan in possession of two items of personal identification from two separate people, the Crown told court.
Judge S.P. Hinkley supported the joint submission for sentencing from the Crown and Morgan’s lawyer, Derek Renzini.
“She is starting to accumulate a criminal record, which includes many breaches,” Judge S.P. Hinkley noted.
Renzini says Morgan was at a drug house at the time.
“She has struggled with addictions, mostly methamphetamine.”
The judge ordered Morgan to pay the fines by Dec. 31.


Alex McLeod, 21, of Grouard, was fined $200 after pleading guilty to theft under $5,000.
Court heard he stole a cellphone.
Judge S.P. Hinkley ruled the fine was paid by time McLeod already served in custody.

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