After multiple attempts to prove he was not healthy enough to serve his jail sentence, a prolific offender living in the South Okanagan is now serving time.
It’s been over three months since Ronald Arthur Teneycke, 52, was sentenced on April 9 to serve 90 days in jail intermittently on weekends after he pleaded guilty to making or possessing explosives and possessing a weapon contrary to a court order.
Since an order was made on April 30 by Judge Greg Koturbash to change the start date of Teneycke’s sentence due to health issues, the prolific offender has been tasked with proving he is too ill to serve his sentence.
After multiple appearances at the Penticton Court House, including one instance where he was wearing what appeared to be a dialysis machine in a satchel on his hip, the noticeably thin-looking Teneycke had failed to provide a concrete reason as to why he couldn’t serve the sentence, despite multiple pieces of information passed on from his doctor and mental health workers.
Teneycke maintained that his doctor said he wouldn’t be fit to serve a sentence for at least three to six months.
Despite providing information from the doctor, neither the Crown nor Judge Greg Koturbash found enough reason to keep Teneycke out of jail.
“It seems to me it would be prudent for him to commence as soon as possible so that it doesn’t interfere with future medical requirements,” Crown counsel Kevin Fotty said.
Teneycke argued that from his discussions with mental health workers he gathered they were worried that, along with his medical issues, serving jail time would deteriorate his situation.
“The potential harm that this could have, not just for myself, but for the community,” Teneycke said. “I’m already considered to be a high-risk.”
Teneycke also attempted to briefly argue the circumstances surrounding his initial charges. He also said he brought witnesses to testify on the state of his health.
“We’re not here to re-hear the circumstances,” Koturbash said.
Teneycke continued to argue the initial circumstances. Teneycke said his medical issues “weren’t foreseen by the court” and that he viewed them as a mitigating factor.
“I don’t know how I can impress upon you that this is not an appeal of the sentence and I don’t have the jurisdiction to change the sentence,” Koturbash said.
“I’m not asking for it to be changed your honour, I’m just asking for a little bit more time,” Teneycke said. “Going into a weekend situation in the city lock-up is very difficult physically, emotionally on a person when they’re healthy.”
“I’m worried that might take me in the wrong direction. Hopefully it doesn’t. I’m looking for a little more time to heal. I’m asking for a month your honour, that’s all,” he said.
“I don’t think anyone wants you going into a relapse,” Koturbash said. “But the sentence has to get served and I’m not satisfied on the application, having read the medical report, that you’re unable to serve the jail sentence.”
Teneycke attempted to extend the matter another week, but Koturbash directed that Teneycke begin his sentence that day and noted that if issues arise down the road he could put forward another application to suspend the sentence again, provided he could prove he was too sick to serve.