CANADIAN JUDGE SHOCKS COURT FOR PRAISING HOME INCARCEREE…THIS JUDGE SURELY CANNOT BE AN ELECTED JUDGE…
August 20, 2008 Brian Caldwell Record staff KITCHENER, CANADA
James Boppre broke all the rules of house arrest when he went for a late-night drive in his pickup truck last month.
He did not observe his curfew.
He did not remain sober.
He did not keep the peace.
And as he crashed into a Kitchener car lot — driving naked while speeding, drunk, high on crack cocaine and next to a naked prostitute — he was not being of good behaviour.
“This is one of the most flamboyant, flaming relapses I’ve ever seen,” defence lawyer Brennan Smart said. “It’s almost the stuff of comedy writers.”
Boppre, 39, of Waterloo, already had a drunk driving record when he was convicted last year of two weapons offences and breach of recognizance.
He received a nine-month conditional sentence of house arrest and went to a rehabilitation facility, where he was an “exemplary resident.”
Once out and living with his sister, Boppre thought he had his problem under control and gradually began drinking and taking drugs again.
Then, on the night of July 30, he completely snapped.
“He just jumped in with both feet,” Smart said. “It’s astounding.”
The former owner of a landscaping business with a six-figure income, Boppre got drunk, went out in his truck and picked up a prostitute at a Kitchener intersection.
Crown prosecutor Mark Poland said Boppre then parked on East Avenue and smoked crack with the woman before they both took their clothes off.
Boppre sped away on East, masturbating while watching the woman masturbate, then missed a curve, went over an island and crashed into a parked car at the intersection of Weber Street.
Witnesses saw Boppre grab his clothes and dress while running away, leaving the accident and the naked woman behind.
He was arrested after one of the witnesses followed him behind a nearby plaza and gave police a description.
“I think Your Honour would struggle to find a more egregious breach,” Poland told Justice Colin Westman.
“It holds the conditional sentencing regime up to ridicule.”
Poland argued for a six-month jail term after Boppre — supported in court by two rows of friends and relatives — pleaded guilty yesterday to impaired driving, possession of crack cocaine and leaving the scene of an accident.
Westman, however, disagreed the house arrest was a failure because Boppre unravelled with about a month to go.
He credited Boppre with doing well for so long and gave him just four months in jail — the minimum penalty given his three previous drunk driving convictions.
“I want to reward you for the efforts you’ve made,” Westman said.
Boppre was also prohibited from driving for five years and placed on probation for three years, with a term he get recommended counselling.
Smart said Boppre has a supportive family and wants to try rehab again to beat his “debilitating addiction.”