Dangerous driver given 14-month jail term

Rosie
Rosie Gillingham
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A man who drove dangerously and assaulted a police officer in a dramatic chase in the downtown area of the capital city last fall has been sentenced to just over 14 months in jail.

Trevor Ralas Wheeler is handcuffed by a sheriff's officer after being sentenced in provincial court in St. John’s today. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

Trevor Ralas Wheeler was sentenced today in provincial court in St. John’s.

Judge Colin Flynn gave Wheeler straight-time credit for the 106 days he’s been in custody, leaving just over 10 months left to on his term.

“I didn’t give Mr. Wheeler 1.5 times credit because if he had applied for bail, I’m satisfied he wouldn’t have been granted bail because of his (extensive criminal) record,” Flynn said in handing down his decision.

Wheeler will also be on two years’ probation once he’s released.

He’s also prohibited from driving for four years.

The 28-year-old pleaded guilty to nine charges, including seven from Oct. 15 — dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, failing to stop at the scene of an accident, evading police, assaulting a police officer, possessing property obtained by a crime and breaching court orders.

They were laid after an incident that started at 7:15 a.m. that day, when an RNC patrol officer spotted Wheeler in his wine-coloured Jeep making an illegal turn on Lake Avenue.

Wheeler would not pull over and, instead, sped up. The officer followed him onto Circular Road and then Rennie’s Mill Road.

Wheeler then drove over a median on Flavin Street, causing him to flatten his four tires and slide sideways towards Gower Street.

Along the way, Wheeler hit three cars. When he hit the third one on Gower Street, the Jeep came to a halt. With the driver’s side door stuck, Wheeler pushed his female passenger out of the way and ran.

The officer ran after him, catching up to him a few times, but each time, Wheeler managed to get away.

The officer used pepper spray at one point and his baton another time, but each time Wheeler still resisted and slipped away.

When the officer caught up to him near the Sir Humphrey Gilbert Building on Duckworth Street, Wheeler was fighting him off, kicking and clenching his fists.

The officer was struggling to keep Wheeler down.

That’s when a man in a dump truck saw what was happening, got out and helped the officer by holding Wheeler’s legs until backup officers arrived.

He’s been in custody ever since.

Wheeler also pleaded guilty to two charges from Oct. 10, 2013 — possessing a weapon dangerous to the public (a machete) and driving while disqualified. He was also ticketed for having no car insurance.

Those charges were laid after he was found asleep in his car with four knives, including a machete.

The sentence was in line with what Crown prosecutor Danny Vavasour had requested.

Defence lawyer Candace Summers had asked for a sentence of 11-12 months.

rgillingham@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @TelyCourt

Geographic location: Lake Avenue.Wheeler, Circular Road, Flavin Street Gower Street Duckworth Street

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Recent comments

  • david
    January 28, 2014 - 20:06

    Do what you want to the public, but if you think about laying a finger on a cop. you're going to experience a much different, more effective justice system.

  • tim
    January 28, 2014 - 16:40

    and the courts wonder why people aren't deterred?? What a joke of a sentence - our entire system is broken.