Sentence adjourned while mother makes arrangements for children

Ryan Ross
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Prince Edward Island provincial court

Driving while she wasn’t supposed to and drinking before she showed up to serve a jail sentence will land an Island woman more time in the Provincial Correctional Centre.

But before she found out how much time she will be spending in jail, Amber Ann MacPhail, 37, asked for time so she could make arrangements for her children.

MacPhail appeared before provincial court Judge Nancy Orr in Charlottetown Monday where she pleaded guilty to two probation breaches and driving while disqualified from doing so.

On March 25, MacPhail was arrested for driving while disqualified and it was her fourth conviction for the same offence since she was convicted of drunk driving in 2012.


On April 4, MacPhail was still serving a 60-day sentence on weekends and when she arrived at the jail she was one hour late, smelled like alcohol, had slurred speech and was unsteady on her feet.

When she went back for her weekend starting May 2, guards noticed the smell of alcohol on her breath and they later found her yelling in her cell where she appeared to be having a seizure. Both times she gave urine samples that showed she had been drinking, which was in breach of her probation.

During Monday’s court appearance, Crown attorney Gerald Quinn said MacPhail should get jail time in order to send a message.

“Certainly not on an intermittent basis, otherwise she’s bound to screw it up,” he said.

MacPhail’s lawyer, Nathan Beck, asked for an adjournment so his client could make arrangements for her children.

Orr adjourned the case until June 9 sentencing and warned MacPhail she wouldn’t be serving her sentence on weekends.

Geographic location: Iceland, Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • fed up with bleeding hearts
    June 05, 2014 - 22:12

    I'm soooo tired of people crying out ' help them help them for they know not what they've done '. She's a drunk. Quite simply. I bet each and every sympathetic voice here would be quite different had she been convicted of drinking & driving causing death to someone's child. It's time adults start owning up to their actions once again.

  • gracie
    June 05, 2014 - 14:44

    who in heck is this stop judging person,? do you not get it 4 times this lady has been caught.and you say dont judge her,if this gal is not put away the system is pathetic,i have walked her walk and we have all experienced death in our families,but she just doesnt get it,and neither do you

    June 04, 2014 - 20:04

    Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone..... shame on all of you people! Who are any of you to judge? Did she make a mistake by drinking and driving back in 2012? Yes, she did along with countless other people....does it say that she's done it since? No, it doesn't!! It says that she drove while not having a license so please get it straight!! This lady loves her children and how dare any of you suggest otherwise!! We all have our own challenges in life and unless you've walked a mile in her shoes, who are you to judge??? How arrogant of anyone to judge so harshly.....I certainly hope the God Lord has more mercy on all you perfect people who find it so easy to judge others without knowing the circumstances of this young ladies life or the struggles she may have!!

  • Doesn't Matter
    June 04, 2014 - 12:36

    Im going to be a realist and say that this woman has drank and drove with her children in the car. If she has no problem showing up drinking and driving to jail for her drunk driving sentence, she has no problem putting her kids in the car with her after a few drinks. Nancy Orr needs to open her eyes and start giving equal sentences or she can deal with these kids' blood on her hands after she lets this woman walk on a 5-7 day sentence. Pathetic.

  • Man
    June 04, 2014 - 08:27

    If she was a man, it be off to jail. Immediately

  • Concerned Parent
    June 04, 2014 - 08:10

    Anyone else concerned for these children?

  • Concerned Parent
    June 04, 2014 - 08:03

    4th time really. Menace to society. Judge Orr has sentenced men to similar charges to major jail time. Discrimination at its finest. She deserves 2 years less a day. Her children taken off her. Life time ban of driving. This is a joke. 4 times. She is making a mockery of the justice system. She thinks she is above the law.

    • rob
      June 04, 2014 - 12:16

      yes, let's continue to throw in her in jail for longer periods! because if she hasn't learned her message yet, nothing like beating a dead horse amirite? get a grip, some concerned parent you are, you explain to the kids when they ask "why wasn't she given help?"

    • just a thought
      June 04, 2014 - 14:28

      actually, a straight jail sentence is giving her help... she can't drink in jail... it will force her to sober up. And it's probably the quickest, most effective way to force her to sober up. That is helping the kids...

  • don
    June 04, 2014 - 08:00

    her kids should be taken from her as she is an unsafe mother. lets see how long before she has the kids in the car while drunk and kills them or a innocent person. lets look out for the kids to hell with this useless drunk.

  • sad
    June 04, 2014 - 07:57

    Obviously this woman should not have custody of her children until she gets help with her alcholism and she has some quality sober time.

  • concerned
    June 04, 2014 - 07:50

    serious alcoholic... If she is such a bad drinker that she can't even stay sober for a day or two during her jail sentence, then I sure hope that Child and Family Services are looking at whether she is fit and safe to care for her children...