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Court Briefs

A man whose criminal record dated back over half a century added to it again in court this week and will spend the next eight months in jail. Victor Eli Balan, 73 pleaded guilty to a single count of theft.

A man whose criminal record dated back over half a century added to it again in court this week and will spend the next eight months in jail.

Victor Eli Balan, 73 pleaded guilty to a single count of theft. He was handed the lengthy sentence in large part because of his long criminal record.

Balan and another man were at St. Albert’s Canadian Tire on Sept. 6. They loaded two motorbikes located outside the store into a pick-up truck and drove away.

Police received a description of the men and their truck and caught up with them a short distance later with the motorbikes still in the back of the truck.

Crown prosecutor John Donahoe and defence lawyer Peter Royal agreed on a sentence of one year in jail with Balan getting credit for the time he had already served.

When reviewing Balan’s criminal record, Royal, a senior defence lawyer in Edmonton, said he had never seen anything quite like it before.

“I don’t recall seeing a record of this length.”

Judge Charles Gardner was unimpressed with the record and said it was long past time for Balan to change his behaviour.

“Mr. Balan you are getting too old for this,” the judge cautioned.

A man pleading guilty to his fourth impaired driving charge received a fine and a year of probation with strict conditions in dealing with alcohol.

Kurt William Bokenfohr pleaded guilty to a single count of impaired driving and fined $1,000 as well as placed on probation.

Concerned about his alcohol use, Judge Charles Gardner mandated that during that year he will take any alcohol counselling his probation officer orders and will abstain completely from alcohol.

Officers were called to the McDonald’s restaurant on St. Albert Trail where staff had become concerned about Bokenfohr, who was clearly intoxicated.

They offered to call him a taxi but Bokenfohr resisted. When police arrived, he agreed to get in the cab when it arrived, but officers waited to make sure he did not drive home.

When the cab did arrive, Bokenfohr promptly walked out of the restaurant and past the waiting vehicle before getting behind the wheel of his own car.

He pulled out quickly, almost hitting a light standard. Police then arrested him for impaired driving.

Bokenfohr has three prior convictions — one each in 1984, 1989 and 1994.

Crown prosecutor John Donahoe said he believed Bokenfohr had a problem with alcohol that needed to be addressed with more than a fine or jail time.

“It is obvious to this Crown that this man has a problem with alcohol.”

Judge Charles Gardner agreed with the suggestion and sentenced Bokenfohr to the probationary term.

He also prohibited him from driving for a year.




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