West Kelowna  

Prolific offender handed 40.5 month sentence for 2019 crime spree

40 months for crime spree

A prolific local offender who evaded police during a three-week crime spree last spring has more than 20 additional months to serve after he was sentenced Wednesday morning.

Judge Ellen Burdett sided with the Crown's sentencing position during her judgement on Dayton McAlpine's sentencing, handing him 615 more days in jail, in addition to the 600 days he had of enhanced pre-sentence credit.

Earlier this year, McAlpine pleaded guilty to 12 charges from seven separate incidents last spring, the most high-profile of which occurred at the West Kelowna Walmart parking lot on June 1, 2019 – a busy Saturday afternoon.

Police were called to the store after an employee recognized the wanted man, but when officers attempted to arrest him, he tried to escape in a Ford pickup truck. McAlpine rammed two police cruisers and hit a civilian SUV with a mother and two children inside, before an officer fired a single shot at McAlpine.

The officer missed, and McAlpine, along with his girlfriend in the passenger seat, avoided arrest. Fleeing the scene, he was spotted driving towards oncoming traffic through busy intersections, and after several close calls with police over the next few days, he was finally arrested on June 11 outside a friend's home on Douglas Road.

During sentencing, Judge Burdett highlighted the 33-year-old McAlpine's lengthy criminal record, which includes 51 convictions. He has committed offences every year since his first adult criminal conviction in 2005.

While many prolific offenders can trace their criminal behaviour to a rough upbringing, McAlpine's childhood in Kelowna was described as positive, and he described himself as “a bad kid with a good upbringing.”

He has struggled with addiction for most of his adult life, and has repeatedly breached a variety of court orders, going so far as to cut off his ankle monitoring bracelet during one stint of house arrest.

While his defence had sought a conditional sentence order where his sentence would be served in the community, likely under some form of house arrest, Judge Burdett noted that McAlpine has breached his conditions during five separate conditional sentence orders in the past.

Judge Burdett called the incident at the Walmart “particularly egregious.”

“The events took place in a Walmart parking lot on a Saturday afternoon where one might expect to find many members of the public, both adults and children, walking and in vehicles,” she said. “He put the public, other motorists and the police at imminent risk.”

She also added he has shown “limited insight into the harm he caused,” by blaming a particular RCMP officer for having it out for him.

The 40.5-month total jail sentence also carries a 10-year driving prohibition. McAlpine was prohibited from driving during these most recent offences, and he's never had a valid driver licence.

McAlpine will be eligible to apply for full parole after serving one-third of his remaining sentence, in just under seven months time.

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