Peace office no more
Wildlife officer has long criminal record

by Chris Meyers Almey
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 11/97) - A string of assaults behind him, a territorial wildlife officer has lost his badge.

Territorial court heard Tuesday that Joshua Yukon Hunter has been removed from the position he has held for 11 years.

Judge Michel Bourassa sentenced Hunter to four months in jail and placed him on probation for two years after convicting him of assaulting his wife.

Crown prosecutor Diane Sylvain said Hunter beat his wife the evening of March 27. He had come home drunk and accused her of hiding his liquor.

Hunter punched his wife in the head a few times, kicked her in the back and then punched her four times in the arm.

Sylvain said Hunter had two previous assault convictions, one involving his wife and one his children.

Hunter apologized to both his wife and his children, saying he had hit rock bottom this time and knew he must quit drinking.

He said he and his wife had taken treatment together. "My wife and kids mean everything to me. I promise never to do this again."

The judge read Hunter's criminal record slowly, noting it goes back to 1984 for drinking with too much alcohol in his blood in Fort Smith, followed by another driving charge and assaulting his wife in 1990, failing to provide a breath sample in 1992, assaulting his wife in Coppermine in 1994 and assaulting his children in 1996.

"He was on parole for assaulting his children when he hit his wife," Bourassa noted.

The judge said he didn't want to be sitting in court in 10 years time hearing that Hunter's children were growing up in a violent, drunken home.

Bourassa said Hunter's wife didn't want him jailed but after three assaults on family members, "it is my responsibility to ensure that Hunter stays sorry."

"The courts have cushioned Hunter and that cushion has to be removed," the judge said.

Drunk off road for 22 months
A drunk driver who endangered lives in a three vehicle crash has been packed off to jail for 22 months.

Crown prosecutor Diane Sylvain told territorial court Tuesday that Courts of Appeal consider drunk drivers as potential killers.

She said the accident happened at noon on March 23 of last year.

William Paul Beaverho, 35, ran into the back of a car in his pickup truck at Franklin Avenue and 54th Street, knocking the car into another one ahead.

There were two small children in one car. One person suffered whiplash.

At the time Beaverho was prohibited from driving for three years. He had five previous drinking and driving convictions, plus one for assaulting police.

"His reasoning goes out the window when he gets drinking," Judge Michel Bourassa said. "None of the sentences in the past have had any impact in terms of his drinking and driving."

At noon many people are travelling on Franklin Avenue in that area, picking up children and Beaverho endangered their lives, the judge said.

"The public has to be protected," Bourassa said.

What would the court say to a mother and father coming to court with injured children at the hands of Beaverho, the judge pondered.

So the judge sentenced Beaverho to 17 months for impaired driving plus another five months for driving while prohibited and banned him from driving for three years.

A case of mistaken identity
It's bad enough to kick open one's own apartment door, but when it's the door to the apartment upstairs, it means jail.

And the mistake will cost Clifford Boline, 27, two months in jail.

He had come home drunk at about 5:30 a.m. Feb. 15 and, because he was on the floor above his own, failed to get in, Crown prosecutor Diane Sylvain told territorial court on Tuesday.

Judge Michel Bourassa noted that Boline had a "disturbing" criminal record going back to 1986, including drunk driving, driving while disqualified, assault, assault causing bodily harm and impaired driving causing bodily harm.

"He was so drunk he didn't know where he was and smashes down a door," Bourassa noted.

"Nothing has changed Mr. Bodine," the judge said as he handed down the two-month sentence for mischief.