Man whose house burned arrested after high-speed chase

Rosie Mullaley
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Ordered to undergo overnight psychiatric assessment

Kevin Charles Roberts smiles at reporters as he’s led out of provincial court in St. John’s Tuesday afternoon. The 28-year-old was arrested after he allegedly drove dangerously while trying to evade police. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

His Blackmarsh Road house in St. John’s was damaged by fire Sunday night.

On Tuesday afternoon, Kevin Charles Roberts was brought before a judge to face charges laid in connection with a high-speed car chase with police Monday evening.

“How are you?” Judge Lois Skanes asked Roberts when he was brought into Courtroom No. 7 by sheriff’s officers at provincial court.

“Not good,” Roberts replied.

The 28-year-old faces 16 charges, including nine counts from an incident Monday.

Police say around 10 p.m. that night, officers spotted Roberts driving on Rickett’s Road and tried to stop him, since he was known to have been prohibited from driving.

Instead, police say Roberts sped off, with officers in pursuit.

For safety reasons, police called off the chase due to the high speeds Roberts was reportedly driving.

Shortly afterwards, an officer in the west end of the city saw Roberts pull in behind a Topsail Road business, where he was arrested and taken into custody.

He’s charged with impaired driving, driving while disqualified, evading police, dangerous driving, unlawful confinement and four counts of breaching probation.

The unlawful confinement charge was laid because Roberts had a 38-year-old female passenger in the car with him.

That woman, who did not want to be identified, was in court to see Roberts Tuesday.

“Are you happy now?” she shouted at him as he emerged from the holding cells. “You f---ing goof.”

The woman told reporters Roberts put her life in danger with his erratic driving.

 While in court, Roberts seemed agitated.

He tried to interrupt the judge several times when she tried to speak.

“Hold on,” duty counsel Jane Fitzpatrick said to Roberts. “Let me talk for you, Kevin.”

Fitzpatrick suggested Roberts undergo an overnight psychiatric assessment at the Waterford Hospital, but Roberts objected, saying he had already been to St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital earlier that day and had spoken with a psychiatrist, who said he was mentally fit.

“In the last 24 hours, Your Honour, my house is after burning down,” he said. “Oh man, I just want to go to sleep. I don’t want to talk to anyone.”

However, Skanes felt it was best to have him assessed.

Roberts is due back in court today for a possible bail hearing.

As he was led out of court, he and the woman again exchanged words.

Besides the nine counts laid following Sunday’s incident, Roberts also faces charges in connection with two other incidents.

On May 8, he was charged with driving while disqualified and two counts of breaching probation orders. About a week later, he was again picked up for allegedly driving while disqualified and two counts of breaching probation orders.

Meanwhile, the investigation into the cause of the fire that damaged Roberts’ house is continuing.

Investigators have determined the fire to be suspicious in nature and are asking anyone with information to contact police.

Organizations: Blackmarsh Road house, Waterford Hospital, Mercy Hospital

Geographic location: Topsail Road

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Recent comments

  • Cindy
    June 08, 2011 - 13:16

    Well James i doubt he will get a slap on the wrist but he does need help.

  • Timmy
    June 08, 2011 - 12:34

    Kev by, your not fit to drive!

    • Stan
      June 08, 2011 - 14:35

      People like him put all our lives in danger ,he's an accident waiting to happen, lock him up for 3 years see how that suits him ,enough of this pandering.

  • james
    June 08, 2011 - 10:02

    he will be sent home with a slap on the wrist