Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/8/2015 (2258 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
He was born into an abusive, neglectful environment, the seemingly unwanted product of a crack-addicted mother working in the sex trade and her drug-dealing pimp of a partner.
At the age of 10, his Mom was dead, his stepfather was out of the picture and the Winnipeg boy was in the custody of Child and Family Services.
He would spend his formative years bouncing around to more than 50 different foster placements while slowly getting involved in the same type of lifestyle of his non-existent parents.
Drugs, gangs and plenty of crime -- from muggings to beatings and many, many car thefts. The Manitoba Youth Centre would become his unofficial home.
Now 19, the troubled young man appeared in court Wednesday to receive his first real dose of adult punishment. He pleaded guilty to flight from police and driving disqualified for a high-speed police chase from this past May, which came while he was suspended from driving in the province until 2023 as a result of his numerous prior vehicle-related offences.
"I don’t know that you’re ever going to get your licence back at this point," provincial court Judge Wanda Garreck said upon hearing the man’s "chaotic" legal and personal background, which was laid out extensively by Crown and defence lawyers.
However, Garreck noted the bigger concern is whether the man will ever get his life back on track.
"I’ve spent countless hours self-reflecting on my past," the man said in a statement his lawyer read aloud, saying the accused was too embarrassed to speak publicly because of a chronic stutter. "I’m trying to correct my behaviour and thinking errors."
The Free Press is not naming the now-adult accused in order to bring up his youth record, which would otherwise be off limits. This includes the fact he was once listed by police as one of the city’s most prolific auto thieves. He has several dozen prior convictions, and had recently finished serving a jail sentence in Alberta for a similar car chase that happened in that province.
He was on two different forms of probation, along with the ongoing driving ban, when Winnipeg police spotted him behind the wheel of a friend’s car in the North End. They were going to pull him over because he was missing the front licence plate, court was told.
However, the accused sped away, blowing several stop signs and reaching speeds up to 90 km/h in the residential area during the dinner hour. He eventually got boxed in after turning down a back lane and coming up against two large moving trucks blocking his path.
The man fled the car on foot and dashed through some yards before he was eventually found by officers, with help from the K-9 unit. There were no injuries or significant damage caused.
The accused has been in custody now for 110 days, which was given time-and-a-half credit Wednesday of 165 days. The Crown wanted him to serve another year in custody, for what would effectively be an 18-month sentence.
But Garreck agreed with the defence request for just three more months jail. This is due mainly to the fact that CFS is continuing to care for the accused, even though he is now legally an adult, as part of a rare "extension of care" case. This includes having a placement for him which would have expired if he was held in custody beyond November.
Garreck told the man she’s giving him the kind of opportunity that it appears he wasn’t given as a youth.
"It seems he was not able to gain any stability or any significant support," she said.
The man told court, through his letter, that he is working to escape the reach of his criminally-entrenched peers. His lawyer said it’s a difficult thing to do given his lack of resources, not to mention the many gang-related tattoos he now sports all over his body.
Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.