A man who smashed and flipped his car in front of a St. John’s funeral home while fleeing from police will serve his sentence in the community.
© — Telegram file photo
Randy James Wheeler hobbles into provincial court in St. John’s on crutches.
Randy James Wheeler was given a five-month conditional sentence, with a year’s probation Thursday in provincial court in St. John’s.
He’s also banned from driving for 41 months and was ordered to pay $400 in victim surcharges.
Last week, Wheeler pleaded guilty to four charges — dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, driving with a suspended licence and driving with no insurance.
The 31-year-old was arrested as a result of a startling incident Nov. 19, 2013. At 9:30 a.m., the RNC says, patrol officers tried to stop a blue Mazda Protegé on Blackmarsh Road for a traffic violation.
Officers activated the police car’s emergency lights, but Wheeler refused to pull over and instead sped off.
Officers chased him, but say they called off the pursuit for safety reasons. Wheeler, however, reportedly continued to speed through traffic, running red lights and stop signs. He reached speeds of 100 km/h.
Minutes later, the Protegé smashed into a west-bound vehicle on Hamilton Avenue before overturning and coming to a stop in front of Barrett’s Funeral Home.
Wheeler and a 19-year-old female passenger were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after the crash.
The male driver and female passenger of the other vehicle were attended to by paramedics at the scene.
At his first court appearance, Wheeler hobbled into court on crutches. He was released on bail a few days later.
He owes $5,181.75 in traffic fines.
In giving Wheeler a conditional sentence, Judge David Orr went along with the recommendation by defence lawyer Michelle Coady.
During the sentencing hearing last week, Coady had pointed out that other than a charge of refusing the breathalyzer in February 2013, her client has no criminal record. He has never served a jail term.
Crown prosecutor Jennifer Colford had suggested a jail sentence of nine to 12 months.