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Penticton  

19 months jail for drug trip

A prolific offender has been handed a 19-month jail sentence after stealing a pickup truck and fleeing from police afterwards.

Penticton court heard that 24-year-old Derek Ledgard crashed a Ford F350 into a Naramata property on the afternoon of Dec. 20 — a truck that was determined stolen a day earlier.

When the property owner went to help Ledgard out of the vehicle, that person noticed the ignition had been punched and suspected the truck was stolen.

Ledgard fled the scene when he was questioned by the property owner, according to Crown prosecutor John Swanson.

Police chased Ledgard and three officers eventually arrested him after a fight ensued. One officer had drawn his duty pistol before they were able to detain the suspect.

"You must've had a lot of nerve to run in the circumstances where there's a revolver drawn," Judge Robin Smith said to Ledgard, who appeared by video from the Matsqui Institution in Abbotsford.

Ledgard faced five charges as a result. He pleaded guilty on Wednesday to theft of a motor vehicle, resisting a peace officer and operating a motor vehicle while prohibited.

At the time on Dec. 20, Ledgard was under a driving prohibition that remained from a previous conviction. He also admitted that he was on drugs during the incident.

Crown counsel asked for 19 months imprisonment for Ledgard's convictions — looking for a "step-up sentence" since he recently completed a 14-month sentence for similar crimes.

Defence lawyer James Pennington asked for 16 months, saying his client acknowledged he needs to deal with his crystal meth addiction and that he pleaded guilty at the earliest possible chance.

Smith decided on a 19-month sentence. In his judgement, he noted Ledgard's attempt to flee police and a "significant" criminal record.

Less 108 days of enhanced credit, Ledgard will remain in jail for another 470 days. He will have a three-year driving prohibition when his sentence concludes.



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