38-year-old Jonathan Maxton is appearing in court today to plead guilty to charges stemming from a November 10th, 2017 incident where he was driving dangerously, sideswiped a police car, struck a fence and street sign, escaped, and was later found hiding under a deck.
Here is the Thunder Bay Police Service media release following the incident.
Thunder Bay Police Service officers arrested and charged a Thunder Bay man with various offences after he led police on an early morning pursuit.
On November 10, 2017, at 2:16 a.m. uniformed officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop of a white pickup truck travelling eastbound on Gore Street. The driver ignored the officer’s attempt and a pursuit followed.
The driver collided with a fence, street sign and police cruiser before stopping the vehicle on Brock Street and fleeing on foot.
Officers located the suspect at 2:24 a.m. under the deck of a Ford Street home and placed him under arrest. Following the arrest, police learned the accused was wanted for failing to attend provincial court and was a prohibited driver.
Jonathan Maxton, 38, of Thunder Bay, is charged with:
· Dangerous Operation of a Motor vehicle
· Flight from Police
· Resist Peace Officer
· Failure to Stop at Scene of Accident
The accused appeared in court on Friday, Nov. 10 and was released with a future court date.
In court today presiding is His Worship, Justice Marc Bode, with Crown Attorney Emily Delaney and defence lawyer Aranka Golphy.
Maxton well-dressed, with his hair back in a pony tail. He is about 6’2″ and around 180lbs fit. He is soft-spoken and polite in his responses throughout the hearing.
Justice Bode inquires directly to Maxton about whether he is voluntarily entering a guilty plea, or if anyone has threatened him or offered him anything to take the guilty plea, Maxton responds with a “no”.
Charges against Maxton are read out before the courts:
- Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle while suspended
- Failure to stop for police (Flight from police)
- Obstruct Police Officer
- Failure to stop at a stop sign
The crown attorney notes that Maxton has no previous criminal record, only driving offences. Also that during this incident, Maxton had not only drove into a cop car but also went through 6 stops signs without stopping.
Maxton has a 16-year-old son and has been taking steps to get into counselling. It is noted that he has had a couple deaths in his family in recent history, which has caused him great stress but is still no excuse for his behaviour, and he takes full responsibility for what he has done, Golphy points out.
The crown and defence have a joint submission ready for Justice Bode to consider. The submission recommends a 6-month conditional sentence order with a 1-year driving suspension.
Justice Bode makes it known that he believes for these facts, a six months conditional sentence wouldn’t be appropriate. Justice Bode stands down the case to give some time to decide what would be more appropriate.
After some time, court resumes and Justice Bode addresses the sentence. Justice Bode says that although Maxton doesn’t have any criminal record, he does have a “Brutal highway traffic act record” and that Maxton “Drives all the time” with no license, no insurance, etc. He also mentions how Maxton had “driven through westfort dangerously” and that the only way house arrest would be appropriate would be “house arrest on the strictest terms”.
“I am not comfortable with something less” Justice bode adds that “he ain’t driving ever again” in regards to Maxton.
Justice Bode explains his decision for the strict six-month conditional sentence and driving ban to the court, “His behaviours so dangerous and it’s so clear he doesn’t listen to what other courts say that I need to send a strong message.”
Justice Bode hands out the conditions he has decided on.
- Keep the peace and be of good behaviour
Justice bode pauses for a second to address Maxton directly, and informs him that keeping the peace means following the law, and that “If you drive, you are breaking the law”
- Report to supervisor
- Remain in Ontario
- Notify supervisor of change of employment or address
- Home confinement for 6 months except Between 9 am and noon on Saturdays, medical emergencies of the immediate family, medical or dental appointments, and counselling appointments.
- Must present himself to the door when police or supervisors request it.
- No alcohol or drugs.
Justice Bode addresses Maxton one final time “Your behaviour is the kind of behaviour that requires the justice system to send a strong message.”
Justice bode continues “I am going to prohibit you from driving for five years.” His Worship adds “That’s in addition to any highway traffic act penalties” Justice Bode explains “That’s because your record is terrible and the act was horrible”
In closing, Justice Bode addresses Maxton directly “You can’t do this anymore, please understand if you do this again, you could be looking at a low-end penitentiary sentence”