West Kelowna  

Jailed for car theft joyride

A man who evaded police in a stolen car last summer before being stopped by a spike belt was sentenced Tuesday.

On July 21, traffic on Highway 97, just north of Peachland, was brought to a standstill after police forced a northbound Mitsubishi Lancer off the road. Jamison Gammond, 29, was arrested at gunpoint and has remained in custody since.

On Tuesday, Gammond was handed an eight-month sentence after pleading guilty to possession of stolen property, dangerous operation of a vehicle, assault with a weapon and driving while prohibited.

During sentencing submissions, the Crown told Justice Cathaline Heinrichs a woman had reported her car stolen in Oliver earlier that day, after she left Gammond in her car in the parking lot of the No Frills grocery store.

Gammond was spotted in Penticton, but fled when police attempted to pull him over.

“The subject driver apparently nearly ran over a family of pedestrians near the Safeway parking lot,” the Crown said.

Police decided not to continue their pursuit, and Gammond carried on north towards Kelowna. An officer in an unmarked police car spotted Gammond driving upwards of 140 km/h towards Peachland, and alerted officers ahead who were stationed in the area to support emergency crews at the Mount Eneas wildfire.

“The suspect vehicle didn't appear to have any regard for anyone's safety,” the Crown said, adding Gammond drove in the oncoming lane of traffic at one point to avoid police.

Gammond's joyride came to an end when he rammed into a police SUV after driving over the spike belt and was forced off the road into a rock face.

Upon his arrest, Gammond told police he was coming down from using fentanyl. He was taken to Kelowna General Hospital, but was deemed medically fit.

Just 11 days before the incident, Gammond had been arrested on downtown Kelowna's Leon Avenue with 0.14 grams of a mixture of heroin and fentanyl. He pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and on Tuesday was given a suspended sentence.

Gammond has served 137 days in custody since his arrest for the car theft. With credit for time served, he's left with 34 days to serve. He will remain on probation for an additional two years following his release. 

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