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Man gets jail for flouting court orders

Jennifer Geens
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Nov 01/06) - A Behchoko man with 43 criminal convictions was sentenced to five months in jail last Thursday after pleading guilty to violating a number of court orders.

On Aug. 26, 2006, Lawrence Lloyd Blackduck, 38, was charged with breaching a probation order after a Behchoko (formerly known as Rae-Edzo) RCMP officer found Blackduck so drunk, the officer had to help him steady himself. At the time, Blackduck was on probation following his August 2005 conviction for sexual assault. In December 2004, he was drunk and entered the wrong apartment in Behchoko then raped the female occupant.

Though his probation order did not require him to abstain from drinking, he was to keep the peace and be of good behaviour. On the night of Aug. 26, he was drunk in a public place and RCMP felt he was a danger to himself and to others. On his release he was ordered not to consume alcohol.

On Sept. 9 at 9:47 a.m., RCMP found Blackduck passed out in a chair in front of the Behchoko seniors' complex, smelling of alcohol. He was charged with breach of an undertaking.

Then on Sept. 21, Behchoko RCMP, checking out a complaint of a man passed out in the middle of a road, found Blackduck intoxicated to the point that he couldn't maintain his balance. He was charged again with breach of an undertaking.

Crown counsel withdrew additional breach charges.

Defence counsel Daniel Rideout said Blackduck has a problem with alcohol, for which he talks with elders in Behchoko, and that Blackduck has been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings while in custody. Rideout said Blackduck had considered signing up for treatment in Hay River but found the waiting list long.

Through a translator, Blackduck told the court that he tends to drink when he doesn't have a job. "I'm not a violent man when I'm not drinking," he said. Territorial court judge Robert Gorin noted Blackduck had 43 previous convictions, 11 of which were for breaching court orders.

"I wish I could rehabilitate him," said Gorin during sentencing. "I wish I could deter him. But that doesn't seem a viable goal given his record."

He sentenced Blackduck to a total of five months jail: two months for breaching his probation order; two months for the first breach of his undertaking, to be served at the same time; and three months for the second breach of the undertaking. "And I see absolutely no point whatsoever in a probation order," added Gorin.