Man threatened to blow up ministry

The Daily Press
In Court - Wednesday, July 13, 2005 @ 07:00

A man who threatened to blow up the Ministry of Community and Social Services building in South Porcupine was found guilty in provincial court of two charges Tuesday.

Russell Larabie, 43, was found guilty of uttering threats and breach of probation after court heard he phoned the ministry twice and became agitated when he couldn’t speak to a client services representative.

Three witnesses testified Larabie called them derogatory names and threatened to blow up the building.

Larabie, who volunteers at the Lord’s Kitchen, denied the charges, saying he wouldn’t threaten to blow anything up because he was already on probation for uttering threats.

“I wouldn’t do something like that,” he said.

Assistant Crown attorney Wayne O’Hanley said Larabie had previous convictions, ranging from assault to arson. Larabie was charged with uttering threats last year.

“I’m suggesting the evidence is overwhelming,” O’Hanley said. “You did exactly this last year.”

Larabie’s lawyer, Paul Bragagnolo, said there was no evidence to suggest his client made the calls.

Larabie admitted to phoning the ministry one time, but denies he threatened to blow anything up

“The problem with telephones is you can’t actually see the person you’re talking to,” Bragagnolo said. “It was possible it wasn’t him making the calls. It could have been another disgruntled client."

But Justice Ralph Carr said the evidence was enough for a conviction. A hearing to set a date for sentencing will take place July 21.

Teen banned from store

A 14-year-old was told to stay away from Canadian Tire after he was caught shoplifting.

The court heard the teenager entered the Timmins Canadian Tire with three friends and proceeded to play with merchandise on the shelves. A security guard told the group to leave the store after witnessing them throwing objects around.

The accused and another friend returned shortly after, took an item off the shelf and left without paying for it.

Assistant Crown attorney Wayne O’Hanley said the boy seemed to be a decent person.

“I know we’ve heard this story before, but he just fell in with the wrong crowd,” he said. “He is smart enough to avoid going down that path.”

The teenager, who can’t be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was given a conditional discharge, but sentenced to six months probation by Justice Ralph Carr and told not to hang out with the same crowd. The youth must also stay away from Canadian Tire for six months.

“You are being given a real break here,” Carr said. “What you did was wrong, but if you keep your nose clean, you can do well.”

Inmates get

a break

Two men who were involved in an altercation at the Monteith Correctional Facility in April 2005 had the charges withdrawn by the crown.

Stewart Pascal, charged with assault, and Nicholas Legarde, charged with choking, along with Collin Desmoulin, attacked a fourth person while serving a jail sentence at Monteith.

Assistant Crown attorney Wayne O’Hanley said he takes violence in institutions very seriously, but recognized that Pascal and Legarde were peripheral players.

“It appears that Collin Desmoulin is the alleged ringleader in this,” he said.

Desmoulin was to appear in court Tuesday, but never showed up. According to his lawyer, Desmoulin was planning to hitchhike from the Thunder Bay area.

Justice Ralph Carr issued a bench warrant for Desmoulin’s arrest.

Dad busted

for impaired

A single father must pay an $850 fine after being pulled over for impaired driving.

Michael Hway was observed by police driving at an extreme rate of speed Sept. 16, 2004 at 3 a.m. As he pulled into a restaurant drive-thru, he miscalculated the turn and had to stop and reverse.

Police pulled him over and detected a strong odor of alcohol. Hway’s speech was slurred and when he stepped out of the vehicle, he was unstable on his feet.

The court heard he had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit.

“He took a tremendous risk,” assistant Crown attorney Wayne O’Hanley said.

Apart from the impaired driving charge, Hway was also in court to answer to a charge of failure to appear in court.

O’Hanley said he missed a court appearance in October, 2003.

Hway’s lawyer, Paul Bragagnolo, said it was a matter of mixing up the dates.

“He has no explanation as to why he didn’t attend court,” Bragagnolo said. “He got the dates mixed up and he panicked.

“He hoped it would go away, but it caught up with him when he was pulled over for impaired driving.”

O’Hanley said that wasn’t a good enough reason.

“People have to understand that court doesn’t come to a halt until they decide to show up and grace us with their presence,” he said.

Bragagnolo said Hway has been out of trouble since the charge, and just wanted to work hard to be a good parent to his seven-year-old son, of whom he has custody.

He asked for a conditional sentence so Hway could start work and provide for his son.

Justice Ralph Carr didn’t agree. He ordered Hway to pay an $850 fine, and prohibited him from driving for one year.

He also sentenced him to 30 days in jail for the failure to appear charge.

“Your reasons fall short,” he told Hway. “If you miss court, you pay the price.”