Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Back to jail for public intoxication

'Homeless hero' haunted by personal tragedies

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Faron Hall, who is often homeless, cannot be drunk in public, according to his probation order. He was picked up June 27, a week after leaving jail.

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

Faron Hall, who is often homeless, cannot be drunk in public, according to his probation order. He was picked up June 27, a week after leaving jail. Photo Store

A man known as Winnipeg's "homeless hero" was handed more than three months in jail Wednesday for his latest run-in with the law, once again sparked by alcohol addiction.

Faron Hall, 49, admitted he broke the terms of a probation order by being intoxicated in public June 27.

His arrest came just one week after being freed from jail after serving 89 days for the same offence.

Hall was drunk and wandering in the Richardson Building downtown when he was detained by security, court heard.

Hall garnered public awards and admiration for saving two people who were drowning in the Red River in separate instances in 2009.

He has a "well-entrenched" addiction to liquor he can't seem to shake, Judge John Guy was told.

This year, he's spent more than six months in jail for various breaches of the same order.

While his probation doesn't prohibit him from drinking, Hall is not allowed to be intoxicated in a public place, Crown attorney Anostin Grieves said.

Hall's life has been tormented by tragedy, including losing family members to criminal acts, his longtime defence lawyer Barry Sinder said. He's been able to stay sober for periods in the past, but the weight of his life's many tragedies leads him back to the bottle.

"All these issues have always haunted him," Sinder said.

Sinder described Hall as a "Main Street soldier" similar to war veteran Ray LeClair, who returned from service in the 1940s and became a familiar face at the city's drunk tank.

Hall learned of a recent furor over the death and burial of his older brother, Wilson, while on remand. Wilson Hall died four months ago and was buried in an unmarked grave at the Brookside Cemetery but family say they were never notified of his death despite the fact his name and next of kin would have been in several provincial databases.

"Mr. Hall mentioned to me he had to deal with that while in custody," Sinder said.

Like his younger brother, Wilson Hall was an alcoholic and was often homeless.

james.turner@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 15, 2013 A4

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