Roger Gregory Hendry, 34, earned himself 90 days of house arrest and a two-year driving prohibition after he was captured on video passing traffic on the Conception Bay South Highway in his pickup in heavy rain last November, forcing a driver coming in the opposite direction to the edge of the road in order to avoid a head-on crash.
That driver, Michael Newhook, captured the incident with his dash cam and posted it on Facebook. The RNC took notice and charged Hendry, who admitted he was driving about 130 km/h at the time.
At his sentencing Wednesday, Hendry told the court he was sorry and he had been having a bad day at the time of the incident.
Hendry said his relationship with his longtime girlfriend had ended the night before the incident. She called police just after 10 a.m. on Nov. 4 to say Hendry had just left their residence drunk and had been threatening to kill himself.
Police visited the home and Hendry was there; he agreed to be taken to hospital.
It was during the time between the call and the meeting with police that Hendry was caught on video.
Accused dangerous driver caught on video
A pre-sentence report, which deemed Hendry at medium risk to reoffend, said Hendry had disclosed he had problems with alcohol as a teenager, but said he hadn’t been drinking at the time of the incident and doesn’t believe he currently has a drinking problem. Judge James Walsh disagreed, telling him in court Wednesday he needed to consider staying away from alcohol altogether and pointing out he had a lack of respect for other drivers, whom he put at risk.
Hendry’s criminal record includes convictions for driving while impaired, driving while disqualified, uttering a forged document and fraud over $5,000.
The report also disclosed Hendry had said he “wasn’t thinking straight” at the time of the latest incident and that his then-girlfriend “drove (him) to it.” It disclosed Hendry had long suffered with depression and anxiety, and had sought medical help after being charged last fall. The report deemed Hendry a suitable candidate for house arrest and probation, saying he had expressed a willingness to abide by any conditions put on him.
Hendry’s boss at a local autobody repair shop, where Hendry works full-time, told the court that he is dependable and a hard worker.
Hendry’s lawyer, Ken Moyse, asked the court for a driving ban and probation, to allow Hendry to seek counselling, but added that if incarceration were necessary, house arrest would be appropriate. Crown prosecutor Shawn Patten suggested two to three months in prison and a year of probation, with a two-year driving ban.
In bringing down his sentence, Walsh recommended Hendry get counselling for alcohol and anger issues. Hendry’s probation order includes conditions that he participate in programs to that effect, as well as a condition that he stay away from alcohol and any establishment that serves it.