OPP officer charged after police chase in Binbrook

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OPP officer charged after police chase in Binbrook

Postby Thomas » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:42 pm

A Haldimand OPP officer is facing charges relating to a police chase that ended with a car crash in Binbrook.

Const. Lauren Cheeseman, 26, has been charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm and dangerous driving causing bodily harm, the Special Investigations Unit announced Thursday.

Cheeseman will appear in Hamilton court on March 20.

The SIU says the officer was following a vehicle being driven by a 29-year-old man on Dec. 21, 2015.

Just before 8:30 p.m., the vehicle being followed approached an intersection in Binbrook, which was closed because of an earlier fatal crash, and crashed into another vehicle.

A 58-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl in the second vehicle were taken to hospital. The 58-year-old driver was seriously injured, while the 17-year-old passenger was treated and released.

At the time, the SIU said Hamilton police had closed Highway 56 and Kirk Road around 8 p.m. after a pedestrian had been struck and killed.

Half an hour later, the OPP notified Hamilton police that a robbery suspect was heading toward that intersection in a vehicle, the SIU had said.

The Spectator reported the OPP had responded to an armed robbery at the Bank of Montreal on Argyle Street in Caledonia around 4 p.m. that day.

At the time, the OPP said police spotted the suspect vehicle heading north on Highway 56 around 8:15 p.m. and started following it.

After the crash, the 29-year-old robbery suspect was arrested at the scene. The Spectator identified him as Kyle Heath.

The SIU is the provincial agency that investigates incidents involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

http://www.thespec.com/news-story/71684 ... -binbrook/
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OPP officer charged in Binbrook crash that injured two peopl

Postby Thomas » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:42 pm

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has charged an OPP officer with criminal negligence and dangerous driving following a collision in Binbrook more than a year ago.

The SIU says the officer was following a car driven by a 29-year-old around 8:30 p.m. As the car approached an intersection — which had been closed because of an unrelated accident — it collided with another vehicle carrying a 58-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl.

The man suffered serious injuries in the collision while the teen was treated and released.

OPP Constable Lauren Cheeseman, 26, has been charged and is scheduled to appear in a Hamilton courtroom on March 20.

The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

http://www.chch.com/opp-officer-charged ... wo-people/
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OPP officer charged after alleged assault in Dufferin County

Postby Thomas » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:43 pm

An OPP officer has been charged with assault after an alleged incident that occurred in the Dufferin County area.

On Thursday (March 2), the OPP announced Const. Michael Gentle, a 10-year veteran of the OPP, had been charged with assault causing bodily harm.

Gentle, who has been a member of the OPP since April 2006, is currently assigned to the OPP’s Southern Georgian Bay Detachment. He has been suspended from duty with pay.

The charges relate to an incident occurring in the Dufferin County area within the last few weeks. The OPP reports Gentle was off duty when the alleged incident occurred.

Since the matter is now before the courts, OPP corporate communications media relations officer Sgt. Peter Leon said he was unable to provide any further details into the case.

“I can’t speak to the specifics. That does form part of the evidence that is now before the courts,” he said. “We will have to allow for any information to come out as the matter progresses through the judicial system.”

The incident was brought to the OPP’s attention by way of a complaint. After launching an investigation, the OPP’s professional standard bureau charged Gentle with assault.

“The OPP holds its members accountable for their actions, both on-duty and off-duty,” Leon said. “This is an isolated incident and we can say there is no current public safety concern.”

The charge has not been proven in court. Gentle is scheduled to answer to the allegations in Orangeville court on March 28.

http://www.orangeville.com/news-story/7 ... unty-area/
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Officer charged with assault

Postby Thomas » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:45 pm

An OPP officer has been charged with assault causing bodily harm.

The Southern Georgian Bay detachment officer was involved in an incident while off duty and was charged after an investigation by the Professional Standards Bureau (PSB) ensued.

Constable Michael Gentle, who has been with the OPP since 2006, has been suspended from duty and is set to appear at the Orangeville court on March 28.

Once the matter has been dealt with through the courts, the PSB will regain jurisdiction over the case and any possible charges under the Police Services Act will be dealt with at that time, said Sergeant Peter Leon, provincial media relations co-ordinator.

He would not provide details of the incident that led to the charges being laid, because the matter is in court.

http://www.orilliapacket.com/2017/03/02 ... th-assault
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OPP officer charged in Hamilton crash

Postby Thomas » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:45 pm

An OPP officer is facing charges from a collision in Hamilton in December 2015.

The Special Investigations Unit says the officer was in her cruiser following a 29-year-old robbery suspect.

The SIU says the vehicle being followed approached an intersection — which had been closed because of an accident — and collided with another vehicle carrying a 58-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl.

The man was diagnosed in hospital with a serious injury while the girl was treated and released. The robbery suspect was arrested at the scene.

As a result of the SIU investigation, Const. Lauren Cheeseman, 26 is charged with one count each of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and dangerous driving causing bodily harm. She is to appear in court in Hamilton on March 20.

The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

http://www.torontosun.com/2017/03/02/op ... lton-crash
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OPP constable pleads guilty to mischief in pursuit that ende

Postby Thomas » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:59 pm

OPP constable pleads guilty to mischief in pursuit that ended in 170 km/h crash

High-speed chase at 170 km/h ended when suspect crashed into another vehicle

A Haldimand OPP constable charged after a police chase that ended with the pursued car crashing into another vehicle has pleaded guilty to mischief endangering life.

Const. Lauren Cheeseman was charged in March 2017 after the province's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) looked into a Dec. 21, 2015, incident in which a vehicle Cheeseman was pursuing crashed into another car in Binbrook, seriously injuring the driver.

Cheeseman was scheduled for a jury trial on charges of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

But on Tuesday, she instead pleaded guilty in a lower court to the lesser charge of mischief endangering life.

Crown prosecutor Katie Doherty said, in an agreed statement of facts, that the male driver Cheeseman was pursuing had been involved in a series of bank robberies and, on Dec, 21, 2015, had robbed a bank in Beamsville.

Doherty said Niagara police pursued the suspect vehicle near Wainfleet when it was spotted around 7:20 p.m., but called off the pursuit because the suspect was driving erratically at high speeds.

A BOLO (be on the lookout) went out to OPP officers in the area. The suspect was soon observed in Dunnville and pursued again before officers once again called off the chase.

Cheeseman, in her cruiser, and without activating her emergency lights or siren, later picked up the pursuit at Highway 3 and Highway 56, "travelling in speeds well in excess of 170 km in an 80 km zone," Doherty said. This included speeding through a rural community with a speed limit of 50 kilometres per hour.

In the meantime, police had closed Highway 56. (The Spectator at the time reported it was closed at Kirk Road around 8 p.m. after a pedestrian had been struck and killed there).

A driver who had approached the closure and was turned back by police, was turning around when the robbery suspect's car — pursued by Cheeseman — collided with it. The injured driver was taken to hospital with a broken collarbone and cut to his head.

Doherty said Cheeseman "acted in a manner constituting mischief causing actual endangerment to life."

Cheeseman will be sentenced on Feb. 12.

The Crown is asking for a fine while Cheeseman's lawyer will be seeking a discharge, Doherty said.

https://www.thespec.com/news-story/9116 ... m-h-crash/
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OPP officer charged after crash in Hamilton pursuit

Postby Thomas » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:00 pm

A Haldimand OPP officer pleaded guilty Tuesday to mischief endangering life in regards to a 2015 police chase that ended with the pursued car crashing into another vehicle.

Const. Lauren Cheeseman was charged in March 2017 after the Special Investigations Unit looked into a December 2015 incident in which a vehicle she was pursuing crashed into another car in Hamilton, seriously injuring the driver.

Cheeseman was scheduled for a jury trial on charges of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

However, on Monday she instead pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of mischief endangering life.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4829428/hald ... car-chase/
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OPP constable hit ‘outrageous’ speeds in car chase

Postby Thomas » Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:31 pm

An OPP constable driving 170 km/h in an 80 km/h zone in pursuit of a car in 2015 reached "outrageous" speeds, says a Crown prosecutor.

The constable, Lauren Cheeseman, was eventually charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm and with dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

The car Cheeseman was chasing that evening crashed into another vehicle, seriously injuring its 58-year-old driver. A bank robbery suspect was behind the wheel of the car being chased — a suspect who was reported to have pointed a firearm at a teller earlier that day in Caledonia.

Cheeseman, now 28, was with Haldimand OPP when the crash happened on Dec. 21, 2015 in Binbrook. She was charged in March 2017 by the province's Special Investigations Unit after it probed her conduct.

In January, Cheeseman pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of mischief endangering life.

Crown prosecutor Katie Doherty argued in her sentencing hearing earlier this month that Cheeseman should get a criminal conviction and a $3,000 fine. Cheeseman's lawyer, Jimmy Lee, argued for an absolute discharge — which means she would have no criminal record.

Lee provided glowing letters from supervisors and civilians about Cheeseman's capabilities, volunteerism, professionalism, kindness, caring, compassion and community service.

Cheeseman, who has a certificate in criminal psychology and was an Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders reservist, joined the OPP in January 2014, and is now a detective with a detachment in northern Ontario.

Justice Anthony Leitch, hearing the sentencing submissions, said despite Cheeseman's "sterling character," the question is whether the gravity of the offence should prohibit a discharge.

Doherty, for the Crown, said she does not take any issue with Cheeseman's "generally positive" character. However, an absolute discharge would not help deter other officers from driving at such high speeds in the future, she argued.

"The message has to be sent that officers can't put the public at risk by driving in this manner," she said.

Court heard Cheeseman was driving a stealth cruiser, which is not clearly marked like a regular police cruiser, and is not to be used for pursuits — so Cheeseman did not activate its lights and sirens.

That fact meant people would not have been aware "what was coming at them at the speeds we're talking about" Doherty said, because there was nothing to warn them.

Cheeseman was not just on a rural highway, but also travelling through more populated areas like the villages of Canfield and Empire Corners — and as such, there was "serious criminal conduct" on Cheeseman's part, Doherty argued.

"There's outrageous speeds here ... You have the accused driving at 150 km/h in a 50 km/h zone (through Canfield). You have her driving 170 km/h in an 80 km/h zone (elsewhere).

"This was very risky conduct and, coupled with the notion she's following someone else who is driving very unsafely, it was only a matter of time before something like the collision that eventually occurred here was going to happen."

Doherty made it clear, however, that she did not tie Cheeseman's conduct to the crash, but rather, to the risk of danger to other road users.

Court heard Cheeseman was told three times to "stand down and to end the pursuit" but she continued at high speeds.

Her lawyer argued Cheeseman received ambiguous instructions from her supervisors, who wanted the licence plate of the robbery suspect's car.

He also said she couldn't "just sit there and watch a fellow who robbed a bank, produced a gun and threatened to kill somebody, just drive by (at 133 km/h)."

Although public safety is the main concern, the question is do you let an armed bank robber driving erratically get away and possibly harm someone in another robbery, he said.

"This man had to be stopped, not at all cost, but at some cost. And that's the fine, delicate balance that Const. Cheeseman was put in," he said.

Cheeseman will be sentenced on March 26.

https://www.thespec.com/news-story/9192 ... car-chase/
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Sentencing for OPP constable delayed after 'loss of confiden

Postby Thomas » Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:28 pm

Sentencing for OPP constable delayed after 'loss of confidence' in lawyer

Crash that resulted in charges sent a 58-year-old and 17-year-old to hospital

Sentencing for a Haldimand County OPP constable who pleaded guilty to mischief endangering life was delayed Tuesday after a last-minute change in lawyer.

Ontario Court of Justice judge Tony Leitch was prepared to give his reasons for judgement and sentence Const. Lauren Cheeseman when her lawyer, Jimmy Lee, requested to be removed from the record, apologizing for the "unexpected development."

Cheeseman was involved in a collision in December 2015 in which a 58-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl were taken to hospital.

The judge explained the law prohibits him from knowing the reason Lee asked to step down, but asked if some situation had arisen that caused a "loss of confidence between him and his client."

Lee agreed that was the case and was removed. Defence lawyer David Butt will take over in his place.

Lawyer needs time to review the case

Butt told the court it's his understanding "everyone acted in good faith," noting "mistakes do happen" and that it's better the change happen sooner rather than later.

He added he'll need time to review the case, speak with his client and weigh his options to determine whether he will elect to strike the plea, make further submissions or "stay the course."

Cheeseman's plea came after a 2017 investigation by Ontario's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) into a collision that happened after she started tailing a 29-year-old robbery suspect around 8:30 p.m. on December 2015.

The vehicular pursuit took them to Binbrook where the SIU says police were investigating a fatal collision involving a pedestrian and had closed the road.

That's when vehicle that was being followed by the officer crashed into another vehicle which had been turned around by the road closure, according to the SIU.

A 58-year-old man who was driving and a 17-year-old girl were both taken to hospital after the crash, with the driver suffering a broken collarbone.

The SIU says the robbery suspect was arrested at the scene.

Keeping the case 'on the rails'

Following the investigation, the OPP officer was charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

Instead, she pleaded guilty in January 2019 to a lesser charge of mischief endangering life.

Following the change of lawyer Tuesday, the case scheduled to return to court on April 16.

Crown prosecutor Katie Doherty said it's her hope that an early return date will help ensure the case "stays, to the extent that it can, on the rails."

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton ... -1.5071605
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Sentencing for Haldimand County OPP constable delayed

Postby Thomas » Wed Mar 27, 2019 4:15 am

Sentencing for Haldimand County OPP constable delayed after change in lawyers

The sentencing for a former Haldimand County OPP officer who pleaded guilty to mischief endangering life following a 2015 police chase has been put off due to a change in lawyers.

Lawyer Jimmy Lee, who had been representing Lauren Cheeseman, told Justice Anthony Leitch in court Tuesday he was requesting to be removed from the record.

When asked by Leitch if the move resulted from a "loss of confidence" between him and his client, Lee agreed.

Despite the "unfortunate wrinkle," defence lawyer David Butt, who is now representing Cheeseman, said he intends to move things along as quickly as possible.

Going forward, the "menu" of options could include making further submissions, striking the plea or staying the course, he said.

Leitch adjourned the case until April 16.

Cheeseman was originally charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm and dangerous driving causing bodily harm in 2017 after the province's Special Investigations Unit looked into an incident in which a vehicle the officer was pursuing crashed into another car, seriously injuring the driver.

In January, she pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of mischief endangering life.

Crown prosecutor Katie Doherty previously told court Cheeseman had been driving 170 km/h in an 80 km/h zone during the pursuit.

A bank robbery suspect who was reported to have pointed a firearm at a teller was behind the wheel of the car being chased, court previously heard.

https://www.thespec.com/news-story/9241 ... n-lawyers/
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OPP officer was trying to protect public from 'dangerous per

Postby Thomas » Wed May 15, 2019 4:34 pm

OPP officer was trying to protect public from 'dangerous person' before Binbrook crash: lawyer

Lauren Cheeseman pleaded guilty to mischief endangering life in connection with 2015 crash

An OPP officer was trying to protect the public from a "very dangerous person" when she followed a bank robbery suspect at high speed, leading to 2015 car crash, her lawyer argued Wednesday.

Defence lawyer David Butt said Lauren Cheeseman, who has pleaded guilty to mischief endangering life, was acting in good faith when she hit speeds of 150 km/h and higher in the lead-up to the Binbrook collision that left a man with a broken collarbone.

"When you're pursuing a very dangerous person you're engaged in protecting the public and sometimes you have to make very difficult decisions about how fast you will drive," he said outside court.

"I totally understand that 150 and 170 [km/h] can be a shock to the general public but we do have to empower our law enforcement officials to act quickly when emergency situations require it."

Butt added OPP officers like Cheeseman are trained to drive at high speeds and that she stayed in contact with her communications centre, so she should receive an absolute discharge.

Robbery suspect arrested after crash

Cheeseman pleaded guilty after a 2017 investigation by Ontario's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) into the collision that happened after she started tailing a 29-year-old suspect in December 2015.

The pursuit brought them to Binbrook where the SIU says police were investigating a fatal collision involving a pedestrian and had closed the road.

That's when the vehicle that was being followed by the officer crashed into another vehicle which had been turned around by the road closure, according to the SIU.

A 58-year-old man who was driving and a 17-year-old girl were both taken to hospital after the crash, with the driver suffering a broken collarbone.

The SIU says the robbery suspect was arrested at the scene.

Following the investigation, the OPP officer was charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

Instead, she pleaded guilty in January to a lesser charge of mischief endangering life.

Officer says she wants people to feel safe

Cheeseman was in court for the appearance, along with her parents and other supporters who filled the first row.

Wearing a dark suit and floral blouse, she stood up to address the court.

"I have lived my life dedicated to bettering the lives and care for the wellbeing of others," she said, reading a statement through tears.

"I have lived my life dedicated to bettering the lives and care for the wellbeing of others."

The officer mentioned that before becoming a member of the OPP, she served as a soldier who was willing to lay down her life for her country.

"I wish nothing more than for the people in these communities to feel safe, supported and cared for, no different than I'd want for my own family," she said, before sitting down.

Butt described his client as "extremely upset," adding the stress from the criminal proceeding has been "enormous."

Butt says client was paying attention to safety

He took over the case before the Ontario Court of Justice from lawyer Jimmy Lee in March after there was a "loss in confidence" between Lee and his client.

Butt described the opportunity as a "rare second chance" where he tried to add to what Lee had already argued.

Butt read through a transcript of communications between Cheeseman and the OPP communications centre during the pursuit, saying she was consistently telling the sergeant she was speaking with by radio how fast she was going, including speeds above 130 km/h.

Instead of telling her to slow down, the lawyer said, she received a response of "10-4" — confirmation she had been heard.

Butt also pointed out Cheeseman slowed down to about 118 km/h when encountering an intersection, something he cited as evidence she was paying attention to safety.

Judge Tony Leitch referred to the same transcript and asked about specific references where the sergeant in the communications centre cautioned Cheeseman not to push it to a high rate of speed.

He also noted that comparing the transcripts to a map and data points of speed during the pursuit showed at one point she was travelling driving around 150 km/h in a residential area with plenty of hidden driveways.

"She made choices that took it over the line certainly, but they were not made out of recklessness or disregard for what she was told," said Butt, adding that's why Cheeseman plead guilty.

Crown wants conviction and $3K fine

Cheeseman is now working for the OPP as a detective in a different part of the province, the lawyer said, adding in court that she "didn't wilt but rather improved" despite the stress.

Crown prosecutor Katie Doherty responded to Butt's comments saying even when Cheeseman slowed down for the intersection in question she was still doing almost double the speed limit.

"She knows people won't see her coming," the lawyer said.

The Crown is asking for a conviction and a $3,000 fine, something that would leave Cheeseman with a criminal record, something Doherty said is important for deterrence.

The case will return to court on June 18 when justice Leitch is expected to make his decision.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton ... -1.5136979
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OPP officer guilty of driving three times the speed limit

Postby Thomas » Thu May 16, 2019 3:47 pm

OPP officer guilty of driving three times the speed limit was trying to protect public from dangerous man: lawyer

Lawyer says OPP constable was ‘trying her best to protect public from a dangerous person.’

An OPP officer who drove three times a residential speed limit while trying to catch a suspected armed bank robber was trying to protect the public, says her new lawyer.

David Butt argued in court Wednesday that Const. Lauren Cheeseman acted in "good faith" in following the suspect that day in late 2015, and was paying attention to public safety before the pursued car crashed into another vehicle and injured its 58-year-old driver.

Cheeseman, now 28, pleaded guilty to mischief endangering life in January and is awaiting sentencing.

She was with Haldimand OPP when the crash happened on Dec. 21, 2015, in Binbrook — and is now with the OPP in northern Ontario.

She was charged in March 2017 by the province's Special Investigations Unit.

Cheeseman was originally charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

At her guilty plea to the lesser charge, Crown prosecutor Katie Doherty told court that Cheeseman drove 150 kilometres per hour in a 50 km/h zone through the community of Canfield, and 170 km/h in an 80 km/h zone on rural highways.

"There's outrageous speeds here," Doherty said at the time. "This was very risky conduct and, coupled with the notion she's following someone else who is driving very unsafely, it was only a matter of time before something like the collision that eventually occurred was going to happen."

Court heard earlier that Cheeseman was driving a stealth cruiser, which is not clearly marked like a regular police cruiser and is not for pursuits, so Cheeseman did not activate its lights and siren.

Doherty maintained it meant people would not have been aware "what was coming at them at the speeds we're talking about" because there was nothing to warn them.

On Wednesday, Butt argued that Cheeseman kept her superiors informed at all times and that she was given ambiguous directions when radioing them about what was going on.

He added that at one point when she relayed her speed at 130 km/h, her superior did not tell her to stop, but rather answered "10-4" — a sign-off that acknowledges what she said.

"She's trying to catch up. ... She's following directions and is in constant communication ... and she's not told her speeds are too high."

He also said Cheeseman was told at one point not to pursue the car, but then told to try to get the licence plate number.

Her actions were not made out of recklessness or disregard for the public, Butt told Justice Anthony Leitch.

Cheeseman, in later addressing Leitch, said, "I have lived my life dedicated to bettering the lives and caring for the well-being of others ... and cared for victims as if they were my own family.

"I wish for nothing more than for the people in these communities to feel safe, supported and cared for. ... I am devoted to the people of Ontario, passionate about the well-being of others and motivated to uphold my oath to the best of my abilities and always in good faith."

Outside court, Butt told the media, "This is an exemplary officer who is acting in good faith in trying to apprehend a very dangerous bank robber — and in that dynamic situation, instantaneous decisions have to be made."

He said he respects the judgment of the court "that the speed went over the line," but insisted Cheeseman was acting in good faith at all times to try to catch the suspect.

The bank robbery suspect behind the wheel of the car being chased was said to have pointed a firearm at a teller earlier that day in Caledonia.

Cheeseman was to be sentenced Wednesday, but after arguments by her new lawyer, her sentencing was delayed until June 18.

Butt argued she should receive an absolute discharge, which means she would have no criminal record.

Doherty reiterated her argument that Cheeseman should get a criminal conviction and a $3,000 fine.

"It's still clear the speeds are unacceptable," she said. A conviction and fine would deliver a strong message to other officers that they can't put the public at risk by driving in this manner, she said.

https://www.thespec.com/news-story/9355 ... an-lawyer/
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Officer made '20 minutes of mistakes' before Binbrook crash

Postby Thomas » Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:58 am

Officer made '20 minutes of mistakes' before Binbrook crash, says judge in sentencing

An OPP officer who hit speeds in excess of 150 km/h while pursuing a robbery suspect who crashed into another vehicle, made "20 minutes of mistakes," according to the judge who handed her a conditional sentence.

Ontario Court of Justice judge Tony Leitch sentenced Lauren Cheeseman to 18 months of probation Tuesday, including 150 hours of community service, after she pleaded guilty to a charge of mischief endangering life.

The decision means Cheeseman will not have a criminal record and can continue her career as a police officer as long as she completes the conditions.

Describing the officer as an "exemplary person in every way", Leitch said despite the fact she was trying to protect the public, Cheeseman did hit "highly dangerous speeds" during the 2015 pursuit.

"She was trying to help apprehend a dangerous criminal," he said, reading from a written decision. "She made 20 minutes of bad decisions that fortunately did not result in serious consequences."

Officer pleaded guilty to mischief endangering life

Cheeseman was charged after an investigation by Ontario's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) into the collision that happened after she started tailing a 29-year-old suspect in December 2015.

The pursuit brought them to Binbrook where the SIU said police were investigating a fatal collision involving a pedestrian and had closed the road.

That's when the vehicle that was being followed by the officer crashed into another vehicle, which had been turned around by the road closure, according to the SIU.

A 58-year-old man who was driving and a 17-year-old girl were both taken to hospital after the crash, with the driver suffering a broken collarbone.

The SIU says the robbery suspect was arrested at the scene.

On Tuesday Leitch said that during submissions, the Crown conceded the suspect would have hit the other vehicle "whether [Cheesman] drove properly or drove as she did."

Following the investigation, the officer was originally charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

Instead, she pleaded guilty in January to the lesser mischief charge.

Lawyer says client was trying to protect the public

Crown prosecutor Katie Doherty was seeking conviction and a $3,000 fine, which would leave Cheeseman with a criminal record, something the lawyer said was important for deterrence.

During the trial she pointed out people would have trouble seeing the officer's cruiser because she was driving quickly through areas with hidden driveways. The lawyer also noted even though Cheeseman slowed down for an intersection, she was still doing almost double the speed limit when she went through it.

Defence lawyer David Butt was asking for an absolute discharge.

He previously argued that while speeds around the 150-170 km/h mark might come as a shock to the public, police are trained to drive quickly.

He also said she stayed in contact with the OPP communications centre and slowed down to around 118 km/h when encountering an intersection, something he pointed to as evidence she was paying attention to safety.

After the judge's ruling, Butt said his client was relieved the court process was finally over.

"This has been a very long ordeal and having it over so she can get on with her life is critically important." he said.

The conditional discharge means it's possible the OPP could look at what happened to see if any internal disciplinary measures are necessary," according to Butt.

The lawyer described Cheesman as a "passionate and dedicated police officer" who found the experience of being the subject of criminal prosecution "intensely emotional."

The judge's decision "embodies the wisdom of Solomon," he added.

"It didn't give everything to one side or the other."

Willing to lay down her life

Cheeseman, who was joined by her parents and supporters in court, did not comment after the decision.

Her parents said they're proud of her.

Court previously heard Cheeseman is now working as an OPP officer in a different part of the province.

During her last appearance she read a statement saying before becoming a police officer she had served as a soldier and was willing to lay down her life for her country.

"I have lived my life dedicated to bettering the lives and care for the wellbeing of others," she said through tears.

"I wish nothing more than for the people in these communities to feel safe, supported and cared for, no different than I'd want for my own family."

Butt said his client's focus is now on completing her community service as quickly as possible.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton ... -1.5179480
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