At Penticton’s courthouse, Derek John Ledgard was handed a sentence of 19 months for an incident involving a stolen truck and a police chase on foot in Naramata. Dustin Godfrey/Western News file photo

Stolen truck, resisting cops in Naramata nets 19 months

Derek John Ledgard, 24, will spend nearly 16 more months in jail after time served

A man who got stuck in a stolen truck during a weeklong methamphetamine bender spend just under 16 more months in jail after facing sentencing Wednesday afternoon.

Derek John Ledgard, 24, was facing charges of theft of a motor vehicle, possession of stolen property over $5,000, two counts of obstructing a police officer and one breach count on a driving prohibition for a Dec. 20 incident last year.

Ledgard was under a driving prohibition from a 2015 incident when he got a stolen white Ford F-350 stuck on a Naramata property. The property owner went to help Ledgard get unstuck when he noticed the ignition had been punched on the vehicle, leading him to believe the vehicle was stolen.

Ledgard exited the vehicle and fled on foot after being questioned by the property owner, who then called police and provided a description of Ledgard.

When police arrived, the F-350 was determined to be stolen the day prior, and the officers began searching for Ledgard.

After spotting Ledgard nearby, who defence lawyer James Pennington noted had been on weeklong methamphetamine bender, the suspect appeared to duck and attempt to hide behind a stack of apple crates.

He fled after being approached and told to get down, getting out of sight of an officer, but was later spotted again, lying on his back in the snow against some bins.

“At that time (the officer) drew his service pistol,” Crown lawyer John Swanson said.

Another officer grabbed Ledgard to try to get him under control, and a struggle ensued between the officers and Ledgard, who attempted to get away, and struggled through the process of being taken to the ground, having his hands in cuffs and being taken to the station.

Ledgard has a lengthy criminal record with numerous similar offences, including a recent conviction on several counts that bore many similarities for which he received a 14-month sentence.

On the step-up principle, Crown sought a greater sentence than that 14 months, calling for 19 months in total.

Defence, however, suggested an early guilty plea from Ledgard — Pennington said he received that instruction immediately upon taking the case — indicated some level of Ledgard taking responsibility for the crime.

“He didn’t turn to me and say ‘it’s the drugs.’ He says he knows he’s had a drug problem; he’s got to deal with it. Otherwise he’s going to continuously be back in court,” Pennington said. “As young as he is, he knows there’s a future for him.”

Pennington suggested a total of 16 months for the sentence, minus the 108 days of enhanced credit Ledgard has for time served.

Judge R.R. Smith landed on the side of the Crown, handing Ledgard 19 months total, less time served, leaving Ledgard with 470 days left to serve.


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