Judge says Saskatchewan man’s background a factor in flight from law
By The Canadian Press
By The Canadian Press
PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. — A northern Saskatchewan man who was high on crystal meth when he fired a Taser stun gun at a police officer prior to a high-speed chase has been sentenced to three years in prison.
Raini Scott Henderson, a 30-year-old Montreal Lake resident, was sentenced Tuesday in Prince Albert after entering guilty pleas Monday to five charges that include resisting arrest and attempting to take a weapon from a police officer.
The court heard police found Henderson asleep in a parked car in Montreal Lake in August 2018 and tried to Taser him three times when he attempted to flee, but he grabbed the device and fired it at an officer before speeding off toward La Ronge.
At one point during the pursuit an officer grabbed on to Henderson’s car and suffered minor injuries from being dragged.
Henderson was eventually arrested when he stopped in a ditch and fled on foot before a police dog caught up to him.
The Crown had sought a four-year prison term while the defence had asked for two years.
“Society will not tolerate risks to (the) public that come from impaired driving,” Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Gary Meschishnick said during sentencing.
“You strike me as an intelligent person … I hope you use this opportunity to change.”
Henderson apologized Monday in court to the officer he targeted with the Taser. The officer said in her victim impact statement that she continues to have nightmares and feels anxious any time she approaches a vehicle.
Meschishnick took the apology into account during sentencing, but said the punishment needs to send a message about the dangers of impaired driving and respecting law enforcement.
Also considered were the findings of a Gladue pre-sentencing report, which considers an offender’s Indigenous background and factors such as substance abuse.
The court heard Henderson was taken from his biological mother at a young age and had no father figure in his life. The report also said he spent time on the streets and stole to survive.
“There’s little doubt Gladue factors have influenced Mr. Henderson’s behaviour,” said the judge.
Henderson has about 18 months left to serve after being given credit for time already spent in custody.
He faces a number of conditions upon release, including attending addictions treatment, abstaining from alcohol and drugs and a five-year driving ban. (CKBI)
This report was first published by The Canadian Press on Sept. 25, 2019.
News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2019