Clearing the record
Peter Mackey says he wants to set the record straight.
Accused of stealing Powerade from a Charlottetown grocery store in 2010, he is still facing the same charge almost six years later.
In a letter to The Guardian, Mackey said an overzealous security guard at the grocery store wouldn't listen when he tried to explain he accidentally left the store with the Powerade as he went to pay a cab waiting outside.
"I could have hopped in the taxi and drove away, but I am not a thief."
Mackey was charged in May 2010 with stealing the Powerade.
He had been going through alternative measures, which allows someone who pleads guilty to avoid a criminal record if they follow certain conditions.
Mackey didn't complete those conditions and recently he was back in court to answer to the charge.
He said he had to leave the province before he could finish his 10 hours of community service and wasn't willing to write an apology letter when he didn't think he did anything wrong.
Mackey changed his plea to not guilty but was not in court a week later to set a date for a trial.
He said a friend who was supposed to be there on his behalf mixed up the date and went on the wrong day.
"I am now eager to return to P.E.I. and to defend myself in trial in order to clear my name."
A judge issued a warrant for Mackey's arrest when no one was in court on his behalf.
What started as a minor offence has dragged on for years and could lead to a further charge for Mackey for failing to attend court.
Lisa Goulden is the Crown attorney on Mackey's case and said when people are subject to obligations to the courts and justice system, attempts have to be made to enforce them.
"What is the message to the public if the crown, police and courts don't enforce either the conditions of a diversion process or any such other conditions to which a person is subject through the justice system?"
The public can read Peter Mackey's full letter with his version of events on page A7 of today's Guardian.