Appearing handcuffed and in custody, in courtroom 103 for a bail hearing on April 3rd, 2018, is 22-year-old James Rule. Justice of the Peace Marcel Donio presiding, with Mary-Ann Macket as Crown Attorney and David Pierce as the defence lawyer. The list of charges are as follows:
- Possess Stolen Property
- Fail to stop at the scene of an accident
- Operate a motor vehicle while disqualified
- Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle
- Fail to comply with probation
All of the information in this article is only allegations, and has not been proven in court.
It is alleged that on March 18th, 2018 at about 4:43 am police officers were dispatched to the Mac’s on South James Street about a vehicle that was reported stolen. Complainant 1 was with Complainant 2 in a vehicle and was driving down gore street when they spotted a vehicle which complainant 2 believed had been stolen by James Rule, which was parked in front of a home on Gore. Complainant 2 told complainant 1 that James Rule had some of their property and was likely in that house.
They pulled over and complainant 2 began yelling for James Rule repeatedly outside of the home until he came outside. James Rule began yelling, and complainant 2 got their property back. James Rule approached complainant 1 while they were still sitting in the driver’s seat of the vehicle. James Rule punched complainant 1 in the face, striking them.
Complainant 1 drove away to the Mac’s on James Street South, while James Rule jumped in the stolen vehicle and followed complainant 1 to the Mac’s. James Rule rammed complainant 1’s vehicle from behind, causing damage, and then sideswiped the driver’s side door while driving down Frederica St. Complainant 1 could see James Rule parked down the street, complainant 2 showed up at the scene and began to follow James Rule on foot. James Rule circled around the block several times, yelling at complainant 1 when he passed by.
During this incident, James Rule was on a driving prohibition and had a previous offence for failing to stop for police.
Officers searched the immediate area for James Rule, but could not locate him, as he had no address or phone number on record. A warrant for his arrest was issued.
March 27th, 2018 12:26 am a report came in about an occurrence at a local bar, males were witnessed running down the street outside this bar and police located James Rule during this incident. Upon identifying James Rule, police arrested James Rule.
The crown submits the CPIC file, criminal record, which has RCMP and local police. Furthermore, the crown stresses James Rule has findings of guilt and guilty sentences on his record. The crown mentions how Rule has a few dozen convictions such as driving offences, property offences, breaches of court orders, willful damage of property of complainant 2 in July of last year, and various other convictions that relate. The crown has concerns on the primary grounds, which indicates the crown is unsure about whether Rule will appear in court, or become a flight risk. The crown, furthermore, raises concerns regarding the secondary grounds, which indicates a risk to public safety, or a likelihood to re-offend.
Justice of the Peace Donio asks the crown specifically if she is seeking detention, or which rung on the ladder of release. The crown states that considering Rules lengthy record, as well as using a vehicle as a weapon, the number and nature of his offences “it’s not a risk that he’s going to re-offend, its a certainty that he’s going to re-offend”, the crown believes she has met the onus on the secondary grounds. The crown is seeking detention.
David Pierce, the defence lawyer for James Rule, takes the stand.
Pierce begins by proposing his recommended conditions for the release of James Rule. Rules parents want a strict release plan, with two sureties, his mom and dad, who are separated and live apart. The proposed conditions are:
- Two sureties
- Reside with Father
- Be in his residence at all times, except for medical emergencies, or in the presence of one of his sureties
- No contact with the two complainants
- Do not attend with 50 metres of where they work, go to school, or otherwise are known to be
- Not buy/possess/consume alcohol
- Not possess any substances on the CDSA, except with a valid prescription
- Weapons ban / Not apply for a firearm
- Driving prohibition
Pierce understands the circumstances and the significant and related criminal record, he’s had talks with both parents and that everyone is in favour of it. This is the top rung of the ladder of release. He says that the parents would prefer this so that they can keep a close eye on James.
Pierce calls James Rules Father to the stand, the examination reveals:
- Is here to present himself as a surety for his son
- Is willing to enforce the proposed release conditions
- Believes James Rule can follow those conditions
- Has room for James in his home
- Is familiar with one of the complainants
- Complainants will not be welcomed in his home
- Has no weapons in his residence
- Will phone the police if Rule does not follow his conditions
- Is on a limited income
- Doesn’t have a criminal record
- Wants house arrest conditions to ensure he’s close and following the rules
- Is comfortable having Rule leave the house under his or his Mother’s supervision
- Has a functional co-parenting relationship with Rules Mother
The Crown begins her cross-examination and reveals that:
- Know’s of his sons criminal record “lengthy one yeah”
- Has told his son to change his ways “can lead a horse to water but can’t make him drink” “He has to grow up sometime, I wish it would be now”
- Doesn’t know how to describe the reason for his son’s actions
- Has had disagreements with his son, but nothing physical
- His father explains “It’s like someone that’s on crack, they smoke it, and they keep wanting and wanting it, so it’s the same thing he has an illness with being in trouble”
- James Rule is trustworthy under house arrest conditions
- Unaware of any addictions or alcohol issues, but is aware Rule smokes marijuana
- Rules never had a driver’s license
David Pierce calls the Mother of James Rule to the stand, his examination reveals:
- Lives within a kilometre from the Father of James Rule
- Heard the recommended conditions
- Believes Rule will follow his conditions and is willing to assist him
- Suggested the 24-hour house arrest
- Believes Rule does better with stricter rules
- Since Rule was released from jail last time, he has joined a local union and did a 6-week apprenticeship program
- He has gone drug issue related meetings which have helped him
- Will help ensure Rule does not go around both complainants
- Will call the police if Rule breaches his conditions
- Good functioning co-parents
- Is familiar with her son’s criminal record
After the examinations, the crown begins her submissions. The crown feels the release plan is as strict as could be, and that the next step would be detention. She is confident in the strength of the sureties and the plan. The crown agrees with the proposed conditions but would like the addition of Rule to present himself at the door when required by police. The crown states that the release terms proposed addresses all three grounds.
David Pierce speaks briefly and reiterates the conditions and addresses how each of the three grounds are alleviated, as well as the parent’s willingness to phone the police, should Rule break his release conditions.
Justice of the Peace Donio tells James Rule to stand up and he begins to address him directly. Justice of the Peace Donio reiterates Rules criminal record “which is egregious for someone your age” “an extensive criminal record”. Justice of the Peace Donio continues to reiterate what happened throughout the bail hearing.
Justice of the Peace deems Rule releasable at this time, and lists his recognizance conditions:
- Two sureties
- Live with his Father
- Be in your residence at all times unless with one of your sureties
- $1500 no deposit
- No contact/communication with both complainants
- Not to be within 50m of complainants home/work/school or anywhere they may be
- Abstain absolutely from alcohol/drugs
- Not to attend bars
- Present yourself at the door if the police request it
- Driving prohibition
- No weapons / Do not apply for a weapon
James Rule has his next court date set for May 18th, 2018. His handcuffs are removed and he’s a free man.
Citizen journalist born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. I like pizza and reporting on concerning events that are in my home region, or that impact it. You can read more by clicking here.