Drunk driver’s licence ban should be extended: Crown

Prosecution intends to file application in Ronald Thistle case

Rosie Mullaley rmullaley@thetelegram.com
Published on September 6, 2013
Defence lawyer Bob Simmonds (left) and Crown prosecutor Phil LeFeuvre talk before proceedings begin in the Ronald Thistle case at provincial court in St. John’s Friday. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

The man suspected of killing a motorcyclist while driving drunk may be banned from driving for three months, but that’s not long enough for the Crown.

When the case of Ronald Thistle was called in provincial court in St. John’s Friday, prosecutor Phil LeFeuvre told Judge Colin Flynn that the Crown wants Thistle prohibited from driving for as long as the case is before the court.

Thistle, who lives in the Kilbride area of St. John’s, was arrested Aug. 16 as a result of a motor vehicle collision in the capital city.

The 65-year-old was said to have been driving a pickup when he pulled out of Polina Road onto Kenmount Road, causing an east-bound motorcycle to crash into the side of Thistle’s truck.

The motorcycle driver, 27-year-old Nicholas Coates, was rushed to hospital, but later died from his injuries.

Thistle has been charged with impaired driving causing death, as well as causing death by having a blood-alcohol level above the legal amount.

After Thistle was arrested and charged, he was freed by police with the promise to appear in court Friday. He is subject to a 90-day licence suspension under the province’s Highway Traffic Act.

The only conditions of his bail are that he abstain from alcohol and show up for court when required.

However, out of concern for public safety, LeFeuvre said the Crown will apply to have the conditions include that he not be permitted to operate a vehicle in this province until the completion of the case.

Thistle was not in court Friday, but was represented by lawyer Bob Simmonds.

“That’s a problem,” Simmonds told the judge of the Crown’s request to have his client’s licence suspension extended. He didn’t say why.

The judge said the Crown could file an application to have the changes made and a hearing scheduled to argue the issue.

Flynn set the case over to Oct. 10 to deal with the application.

About a half-dozen of Coates’ family members were in the courtroom for Thistle’s case, but declined to talk to media.

rgillingham@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @TelyCourt