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Drunken tirades land man in jail

A former university instructor who threatened to shoot a Red Deer Mountie in the head and massacre up to 200 more police officers has been sentenced to 60 days in jail, minus time served.

Ivan Smith, 59, was arrested on Thursday at a fast food restaurant in Red Deer by a City RCMP officer called to investigate complaints of an unwanted man on the premises.

Edmonton-based Crown prosecutor Jon Werbicki said in Red Deer provincial court on Monday that the police officer noted an “overwhelming” aroma of alcohol on Smith, who was supposed to abstain from all intoxicants as part of a 12-month probation order issued in April 2013.

Werbicki cited a long history of “alcohol inspired” offences, including assaults and possession of stolen property, as well as breaching release conditions, in seeking sentence of 60 days, minus the five days Smith served in remand after his arrest.

Werbicki said he was asked to handle Smith’s newest charges because the accused man had been badgering staff at the Red Deer Crown prosecutor’s offices in the provincial building and the courthouse.

Appearing by closed-circuit TV before Judge Darrell Riemer, Smith apologized profusely after pleading guilty to one count each of uttering death threats and breaching probation.

“I’m awfully sorry about all of this,” he said.

Duty Counsel Mark Gottlieb said Smith blacked out and did not remember what happened at the restaurant.

Gottlieb said Smith came to Red Deer about a year ago to work as a labourer and was under considerable stress because his girlfriend has cancer and is not expected to live more than a few months.

Smith lived in South America for a number of years, obtained a university degree in Colombia and taught university courses afterward, said Gottlieb. Smith also served in the military in Colombia and suffered post-traumatic stress as a result, he said.

Gottlieb asked that the man be allowed to serve his sentence on weekends so he could keep his job and spend time with his dying girlfriend.

Riemer ordered that Smith serve 12 months on probation, including a provision that he stay away from the Red Deer Crown prosecutors and their offices and that he seek help for alcohol addiction and anger management.

The probation order also requires that Smith spend his weekends in jail until he has served 55 more days.

bkossowan@reddeeradvocate.com

 
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