Robert Noseworthy pleads guilty to 14th impaired driving offence
A man facing his 14th drunk-driving conviction hasn’t been sentenced yet, but the Crown is already looking to protect the public from him long after he gets out of jail.
In provincial court in St. John’s Monday, Robert Samuel Noseworthy pleaded guilty to impaired driving and driving while disqualified as a result of an accident he caused last year that injured a woman.
Soon after the pleas were entered, Crown prosecutor Iain Hollett presented an application to Judge Greg Brown, requesting an assessment be completed on Noseworthy to determine whether or not the 60-year-old can be deemed a long-term offender.
A hearing to discuss the long-term offender application was set for Nov. 9.
“We feel (a long-term offenders’ application) is appropriate in this case,” Hollett said.
To be deemed a long-term offender, evidence must be presented that shows a pattern of criminal behaviour; that he is a high risk to offend; and that the risk can be managed in the community once a prison term is served.
The offender’s prison term is usually more than two years in such cases.
Noseworthy’s sentence has yet to be determined.
But a long-term offender designation would mean that when his jail term expires, he would then be sentenced in the community for a period of up to 10 years.
“I’ve done it in an effort to aid two things,”‘ Hollett explained to reporters outside court, “One, for the potential reintegration of Mr. Noseworthy into the community, and, secondly, to hopefully provide a measure of protection to the public.
“That’s what the long-term provision orders are designed to do — control an eventual risk as best we can back in the community once offenders are released.
“That’s what the long-term provision orders are designed to do — control an eventual risk as best we can back in the community once offenders are released. “You can think of it sort of like a probation order … He’d be supervised in the community by Corrections Canada.” Crown prosecutor Iain Hollett
“You can think of it sort of like a probation order … He’d be supervised in the community by Corrections Canada.”
Noseworthy has an extensive criminal record that contains dozens of convictions, including 13 for impaired driving and others for driving while disqualified and leaving the scene of an accident.
He was also convicted of criminal negligence causing death in 1984 and received a 2 1/2-year jail term.
In 2003, he got 3 1/2 years for impaired-related and driving-related offences and was given a lifetime driving prohibition.
In total, his record includes about 50 prior convictions.
Noseworthy was again under the influence of alcohol when he rammed a woman’s car off the road July 11, 2009, on the Trans-Canada Highway near Gushue’s Pond Park.
Her car flipped several times before landing in a ditch. The 59-year-old was taken to Carbonear hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.
However, she did suffer soft-tissue damage to her neck, shoulder, arm and thigh area.
When The Telegram visited her at her Clarke’s Beach home days later, she was still in pain.
Evidence about the incident was presented earlier this year at a preliminary hearing. After weeks of testimony, the judge determined there was enough evidence to send Noseworthy’s case to trial.
The guilty pleas on Monday eliminated the need for a trial.