UPDATE WEDNESDAY MARCH 14,2018
A 53 year old Mark Tannahill appeared in Courtroom 102 today for pretrial before Her Honour Justice Elaine Burton.
He’s dressed in black pants and black jacket with grayish collared shirt. Tannahill has no lawyer and is self representing. Crown Attorney is Adriana Nigro. Pretrial is being conducted in a closed courtroom.
Court opens again and is back on the record. Mark Tannahill pleads Guilty to Count 1 of Breaching Probation. Judge Burton accepts Tannahill’s guilty plea of not performing his 60 community service hours during his 6 month probation period. Judge Burton tells Tannahill that he will be sentenced on June 21,2018 in Courtroom 102 for Count 1. She indicates to Tannahill that Count 2 will be withdrawn on his sentencing date and that’s only if he brings in proof showing he’s done community service hours, even if they are outside the time requirements of his probationary period. Justice Burton appears to be REAL Concerned that Tannahill complete the community service hours as ordered originally by Judge Gibson.
Tannahill leaves the courtroom with another criminal conviction on his record.
NO OTHER LOCAL MEDIA WAS PRESENT
UPDATE FRIDAY FEBRUARY 9,2018.
A 53 year old local radio quasi-celebrity Mark Tannahill appeared in courtroom 105 this morning before Justice of the Peace John Guthrie. He’s approx 5’9” tall and visibly obese wearing a plaid shirt with black jacket and blue jeans.
He’s charged with 2 counts of breach of probation for failing to perform his 60 hours of community service. Last May when sentenced by Judge Gibson, Tannahill was given a financial break on the fine because he told the court he was unemployed even though he started work at Country 105 the following Monday. It was creative sentencing by Judge Gibson to assist Tannahill because the aggravating factor of his elevated blood alcohol level warranted a stricter punishment. Tannahill registered blood alcohol levels almost triple the legal amount.
Tannahill does not have a lawyer and is self representing himself. The matter is remanded to March 14,2018 @ 10am in Courtroom 102 for pretrial.
DRUNK DRIVING TRIAL OF MARK TANNAHILL
On Thursday May 4,2017, the criminal trial of Mark Tannahill begins in Courtroom 103 before Judge David Gibson (visiting Judge from Kenora). Crown Attorney is Mary-Ann Mackett and Defence Attorney is Neil McCartney (who also has a student alongside him)
Mark Tannahill stands approx 5’10” tall and is in excess of 300lbs with a goatee and dark hair. He’s wearing a dark collared shirt with orange verticle stripes and blue jeans.
The Crown begins it’s case by calling Darren Smith, a delivery driver. Smith testifies that he entered the KFC restaurant on North Cumberland on July 6,2016 shortly after 5 pm and noticed an individual (identified to be Tannahill) sitting on the floor in the foyer of the KFC. He asked him if he required any help. Tannahill responded with a “grunt”. Smith went about his business in the restaurant and returned to his vehicle in the parking lot to wait for next delivery. While waiting for next delivery, he observes Tannahill staggering out to a vehicle in parking lot, he testifies the defendant starts the vehicle and reverses with door wide open. Momentum of vehicle slams door shut. Vehicle proceeds across to a lube oil parking lot. Smith testifies that he has teenage girls who have driver’s licenses and he is concerned. He phones the police.
Second Crown Witness is Officer Mark Cattani of Thunder Bay Police. The officer stands throughout his entire testimony. A 911 call was received at 5:21pm regarding possible DUI. Officer Cattani was on the scene at 5:29pm. Cattani approached the brown Pontiac that Tannahill was in and asked if he’s been drinking. Tannahill denies consuming alcohol. The officer notices an open beer in center console and other closed beer in vehicle.Tannahill complains of shoulder pain and said he fell in restaurant. Cattani asks for vehicle info and driver license then proceeds to read rights to counsel, caution and breath demand to Tannahill 3 times. He feels Tannahill was trying to stall the process by not understanding this. Tannahill is arrested and brought to the Thunder Bay Police Station. Due to his complaints of a sore shoulder, Cattani uses 2 sets of handcuffs on Tannahill and double locks them for a more comfortable arrest.
The court also hears that the license plate attached to the vehicle belonged to Tannahill but was not designated for that vehicle. The vehicle belonged to someone else and had no insurance on it.
A DVD is played in court of Tannahill’s arrival at TBP station booking room. He seems very whiney about his shoulder and is complaining about it being painful. The police go through the booking process with Tannahill. They ask him which lawyer he wants to call, he replies that they can pick one. It’s explained that he need to choose. Tannahill advises them to call first one on list. Police begin calling and working their way through the list of lawyers. Several lawyers are not available and one refuses Tannahill. He eventually gets to speak to a lawyer.
Third witness is Constable Greg Forshaw. Tannahill is brought into the breathalyzer room before Officer Forshaw who is certified to operate the machine. Tannahill seems a bit more relaxed here with Forshaw.
Forshaw asks him how much he’d been drinking, Tannahill says he’s not answering. Asked how much he weighs, Tannahill responds “aww fuck 320” (he stated 321 previously when being booked).
Asked if he’s on medication, he responds “anti-depressants”.
He tells Forshaw he is in pain while laughing. Forshaw testifies that Tannahill provides his breath samples
First breath sample at 6:32 pm was .232 BAC. Second sample at 6:54 pm was .236 BAC
Tannahill continues to whine about shoulder pain but is advised that he will be brought for medical treatment after breath samples are collected. Tannahill is brought to the hospital triage at 7:40pm where it is discovered that he has a dislocated shoulder when he is seen at 8:40pm.
Neil McCartney wants the police evidence excluded because he states that Tannahill’s charter rights were breached. He feels Tannahill should have been immediately brought for medical attention.
Crown Mackett argues that Tannahill’s injuries were not life threatening and he was brought immediately for medical attention once the evidence was collected. She feels the police evidence should be accepted.
Judge Gibson states that he will rule the following day May 5,2017
May 5,2017 2:15pm Judge Gibson is ready to rule.
He states the Thunder Bay Police were professional and businesslike in their conduct with Tannahill. The police were entitled to arrest him and this was not an unreasonable arrest.
Judge Gibson states ” The standard of reasonableness s is not to be conflated with perfection” He is satisfied the Crown has proven it’s case. Tannahill is found guilty on the over 80 charge and the other is dropped due to Kienapple principle. Mark Tannahill is GUILTY.
Sentencing submissions.Neil McCartney submits that his client is 51 years old and unemployed. He was laid off from a radio job of 27 years in 2013. He tried real estate sales briefly but was unsuccessful and then most recently drove taxi. He won’t be able to drive taxi now with this conviction. He states his client hopes to get back into radio and has no criminal record. He’d like a low fine for his client due to the financial situation.
Crown Mackett submits a MTO drivers record several pages long with suspensions. She suggests a low fine is not appropriate given the aggravating factor of the high breath sample readings. She wants a higher fine and longer driving prohibition.
Tannahill is asked by Judge Gibson if he has anything to say, he replies “No your honour”. But then he tearfully replies “May I change my mind?” Judge Gibson allows Tannahill to speak.
“I know I messed up. It’s been a life changing thing. I willingingly admit I made some bad choices that day. I’m very sorry” he states while shedding many tears.
Judge Gibson appears persuaded by Tannahill’s statement and states that he respects his statement but impaired driving is a significant cause of death in Canada.
Gibson says he will do something unusual in his sentence. He sentences Tannahill to a 1000$ fine + 300$ victim surcharge & 12 month driving prohibition as well as 6 months of probation. The condition of his probation is to keep the peace and be of good behaviour as well as to do 60 hours of community service. He tells Tannahill to be creative with his community service and not wait for the probation officer to give him a standard list of things.” Put together a plan” Gibson tells Tannahill.
From The Desk of Thunder Bay Courthouse – Inside Edition
Team of citizen journalists with over 30 years experience observing court cases.
Check out our Facebook page by clicking here.