Court Report

Man learns to attend court after being in custody, says defence

Slave Lake
Provincial Court
March 31, 2021
Judge G.R. Ambrose

Dwayne Mark Noskiye (32) appeared via closed circuit video from Edmonton Remand Centre. He pleaded guilty to three crimes. The Crown prosecutor withdrew two more.

Noskiye did not attend his trial, said the Crown. This was the second time he missed a trial for the same alleged crime. The complainant and two police officers were present. Both officers had to travel from other parts of Alberta.

On January 20, 2021, Noskiye was under conditions to be in his home 24 hours a day, said the Crown. Lac La Biche RCMP received a report of two men fighting. When they arrived, they found Noskiye outside of the building. He was in breach of his curfew and wanted on warrants.

Was Noskiye’s approved residence in Lac La Biche? Judge Ambrose asked.

It was not, answered the defence.

Noskiye is a member of Bigstone Cree Nation and lives in Wabasca, said the Crown. He struggles with alcohol and substance abuse, but has been sober for six months. He has been in custody since January 20, 2021.

Noskiye’s criminal record was admitted as evidence.

Noskiye was sentenced to 60 days – 45 for failure to appear and 15 for failure to comply with release conditions. This equalled time served.

Appearing via closed circuit video from Peace River Correctional Centre, Derek Preston Giroux (34) pleaded guilty to a number of crimes. The Crown withdrew three others.

The oldest two crimes happened on December 13, 2018.

On that day, at 4 a.m., Lakeshore Regional Police Service responded to a complaint that Giroux was drunk and throwing things in his mother’s home, said the Crown. His mother contacted the police from a neighbour’s home, but was concerned for the safety of her mother who was still in the house. Giroux’s mother didn’t want him arrested; she just wanted him taken out of the house to sober up.

When police arrived, they asked the mother if Giroux was armed, said the Crown. She said he wasn’t. However, when the police officer found Giroux, he was sitting on a bed with a loaded shotgun and a box cutter knife. The officer told Giroux he was under arrest, to put the weapons down, and to get on the floor. Giroux didn’t move. Another officer arrived, and Giroux was arrested. He was then taken to the University of Alberta Hospital, because he said he felt like harming himself.

The gun belonged to the mother’s late father, said the Crown. He had recently died and was the only person in the family with a gun license.

Giroux’s remaining crimes were failure to attend court (x6) and failure to report to a bail supervisor (x5). These ranged in date from 2019 to 2021.

The “snowball” effect of these crimes comes from “Mr. Giroux’s complete unwillingness to come to court,” said Judge Ambrose.

“He’s learnt the lesson now being in custody,” said the defence.

Giroux is a member of Driftpile First Nation. He grew up and lives in Driftpile. He was raised by his grandparents, both of whom have now died. He struggles with substance abuse. He’s been sober over a month, and is putting together a plan to deal with his addictions after he is released from custody, the court heard.

Giroux had only one previous criminal conviction, said the Crown. It was an assault with a weapon from 2006. He was fined $200, which suggests it was “fairly benign.”

For the first two crimes, Noskiye received a suspended sentence of 12 months probation. On the weapons charge, he was also prohibited from possessing a firearm for five years. A lawful owner of the shotgun has to appear within 90 days or the gun is forfeited.

The probation conditions consist of the required conditions, plus to report, live at an approved address, seek assessment, counselling and treatment as directed, provide proof of completion and sign any forms necessary for the probation officer to monitor progress within assessment etc. The focus of the counselling and treatment may include psychiatric, addictions, and grief counselling.

The remaining crimes resulted in fines (ranging from $200 to $500) or days in custody. All fines were converted to default days (one to four). The total default days was 20 days, plus one day for failure to report and 30 days for the failure to report (over a long period of time). The global sentence for this portion was 51 days, which equalled time served.

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