UPDATED: 4:15 p.m.
Dayton McAlpine fought back tears as he addressed the judge during his sentencing hearing in Kelowna court Friday afternoon.
“I was not in my right state of mind when these offences took place, I'd been facing relentless hardships in my life during that period,” McAlpine said. “I had recently lost my mother who was a major part of my day to day life. I fell in a deep depression which impacted my ability to maintain employment. I quickly became homeless and fell deep into addiction.”
McAlpine has pleaded guilty to 12 charges stemming from seven separate instances last spring, which he racked up while evading the police for almost a month.
During his sentencing hearing Friday, Crown prosecutor Jean-Benoit Deschamps said he's seeking a 41-month total sentence for the 12 convictions, while defence argued for 25 months. McAlpine has been incarcerated since his arrest last June, and he'll be given enhanced presentence credit of 19.5 months.
“I became a victim of fentanyl and now needed it daily to avoid extreme withdrawal symptoms,” McAlpine said. “The day I was arrested was the worst and the best day of my life. Going through withdrawal was the most horrible thing I have ever experienced, but after it was over, I was relieved.
“Each day sober helped me become myself again.”
McAlpine's father, David McAlpine, also spoke during the sentencing hearing, telling Judge Ellen Burdett that he has reconnected with his son during the past year, and he wants to support him in his rehabilitation.
“I know that after his mother passed away, that had a big effect on him,” David said. “He's explained to me that he's tired of what he's been doing, and he wants to change and get on the right track. He told me that he wants to get to the point where I would be proud of him again.”
McAlpine has a significant criminal record, racking up close to 50 convictions since 2005, including 20 breaches of various court orders. Last spring, he fled from police in a vehicle on four separate occasions, all while he was prohibited from driving due to a prior flight from police charge.
Judge Ellen Burdett reserved judgment on McAlpine's sentencing for Wednesday, July 15.
ORIGINAL: 12:30 p.m.
A man who fled from police on several occasions last spring, and hit an SUV containing a mother and her two children in one instance, could be sentenced to another 21 months behind bars.
Prolific offender Dayton McAlpine was arrested in West Kelowna on June 11, 2019, after he evaded police for almost a month and, after pleading guilty to a number of charges in February, his sentencing hearing was held Friday.
During sentencing submissions, Crown prosecutor Jean-Benoit Deschamps said he's seeking a total sentence of 41 months for the 12 charges McAlpine has pleaded guilty to. McAlpine has been in custody since his arrest last June, and will be credited for presentence custody at 1.5 times time served.
While the 12 charges stem from seven different incidents between March and June of 2019, the most high-profile of the incidents came on June 1, 2019, in the West Kelowna Walmart parking lot.
On the busy Saturday afternoon, police arrived at the store's parking lot after a loss-prevention officer reported that McAlpine, who was wanted by police at the time, was inside. Police attempted to box in McAlpine's truck as he left the parking lot, but McAlpine rammed the two police vehicles, hitting a third civilian's SUV in the process. A woman and her two young children were inside the SUV, but were uninjured.
As McAlpine attempted to drive away, one of the officers, concerned the truck would strike an officer, fired a single shot at McAlpine. The officer missed, and McAlpine got away.
Police received several reports of McAlpine's green F-150 driving erratically around West Kelowna that day, but were unable to apprehend him.
Deschamps said after the Walmart incident, McAlpine became a “priority” for the West Kelowna RCMP, and after another failed arrest attempt on June 9, police finally apprehended him on June 11 outside a home on Douglas Road.
From May 22 until his eventual arrest, McAlpine evaded police on four separate occasions, all while he was prohibited from driving due to a prior flight from police. He has close to 50 prior convictions and 17 driving violations.
Deschamps said a presentence report has shown that growing up, McAlpine's parents “gave him every opportunity to succeed, and he squandered it.” He has suffered from drug addiction in the past and says he wants to work on these issues moving forward.
The report also found McAlpine blames the RCMP, specifically one officer, for the majority of his driving offences.
“He said that one particular officer has ruined his life and made him look stupid,” Deschampes said Friday.
A psychological report found McAlpine's risk of recidivism is high, based on his history of breaching prior court orders, including one instance where he cut off his monitoring bracelet while under house arrest.
McAlpine's defence counsel will present his sentencing submissions Friday afternoon, and Judge Ellen Burdett is expected to rule on the sentence at a later date.