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Hefty sentences handed out as P.E.I. judge urges driving offenders to do as they are told


GEORGETOWN, P.E.I. - The chief provincial court judge of P.E.I. hammered home her exasperation over Islanders showing little regard for court orders, particularly where driving is concerned.

Two motorists felt the sentencing sting from Nancy Orr Thursday while a third scurried from court seemingly jolted by what she may have in store for him.

First to face the music in Georgetown was 49-year-old Glenn Raymond Sweeney.

The lobster fisherman pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle on Jan. 6 while disqualified from doing so.

He was stripped of his driving privileges in May 2017 when sentenced for failing the breathalyzer.

A driving prohibition, however, failed to keep Sweeney from getting behind the wheel earlier this year.

Judge Nancy Orr.
Judge Nancy Orr.

“The court expects its orders to be complied with,’’ Orr told Sweeney.

She proceeded to sentence Sweeney to 30 days in jail to be served on consecutive weekends. She also imposed a 12-month probation and a 12-month driving prohibition.

Next up for admonishment – and sentencing – was Stephen Matthew Barter, 29, of Belle River.

Barter pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified on Feb. 3 in Montague.

Barter was issued the driving prohibition in July 2017 on P.E.I. but several court files also exist with driving prohibitions against Barter from Newfoundland and Labrador.

“It’s not rocket science, sir,’’ Orr said just before sentencing Barter to 70 days in jail to be served on consecutive weekends.

“You have a court order that says you can’t drive, you don’t drive.’’

Barter, if he follows his latest court order from Orr, will not drive for the next two years.

Ian Kenneth MacLean was the third person on this day to answer to the charge of driving while disqualified.

He told Orr that he had been prepared “to plead out’’ but after hearing the lengthy sentences imposed on Sweeney and Barter, he sees benefit in seeking council. Orr adjourned his case to April 19.

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