Less jail and probation a better option for dangerous criminal: judge

Sending a dangerous criminal to jail for 30 months would potentially negatively impact public safety, a judge said Tuesday in convincing Crown and defence lawyers to seek a shorter sentence.

Provincial court Judge John Bascom suggested a two-year sentence would be more appropriate for Scott Aaron Stimson because it could be coupled with probation.

And Crown prosecutor Doug Taylor and defence counsel Gloria Froese agreed, changing what was initially a joint submission for a 2½-year prison term.

The lawyers had initially settled on that punishment for Stimson, on top of the nearly 28 months of credit he received for so-called dead time, for a series of offences in 2016 and 2017.

But at Bascom’s suggestion they reconsidered and agreed a two-year term followed by 18 months on probation would be a better punishment.

“Mr. Stimson is a danger to the public, particularly if he continues to engage in drugs, so I wanted some control on him,” Bascom said, in proposing a sentence which could include probation.

Stimson pleaded guilty in April to a series of criminal endeavours which ended in his arrest in Calgary on May 6, 2017, following a high-speed police chase which began Gleichen.

The Siksika resident also admitted a Sept. 29, 2016 domestic assault and a Jan. 15, 2017 incident in which he menaced three people with a loaded shotgun telling one he was a “hitman” and only went to the reserve “to finish people off.”

He was arrested by the Emergency Response Team in Calgary at Sunridge Mall on May 6, 2017, following a pursuit which began in Gleichen and included Stimson at one point stopping on the highway to get out of his vehicle to videotape the HAWCS police helicopter on his phone.

KMartin@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @KMartinCourts

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