Local briefs – October 14

The hearing for a man the Crown wants declared a dangerous offender was over before it started on Tuesday afternoon.

Accused rushed to hospital

The hearing for a man the Crown wants declared a dangerous offender was over before it started on Tuesday afternoon.

Provincial court Judge Thomas Schollie heard Clement Joseph Robinson, 51, had to be rushed to Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre by ambulance about five minutes before he was scheduled to appear for the hearing.

Crown prosecutor Jason Snider told court that Robinson was taken to hospital after complaining of gastrointestinal problems. Court heard earlier that Robinson suffered cancer in his esophagus several years ago and was treated successfully for it.

At least two medical doctors were scheduled to testify on Tuesday but may be rescheduled for today if Robinson has returned.

The hearing could last another two or three weeks, defence lawyer Arnold Piragoff said outside court.

The hearing will determine if Robinson should be declared a dangerous offender. That would allow authorities to make him serve an indefinite prison term, followed by lengthy supervision.

Robinson is already classed as a long-term offender, who has been sentenced to set jail terms, followed by supervision.

The hearing was sought by the Crown after Robinson pleaded guilty in June 2007 to assaulting a former Red Deer escort by stabbing her with scissors on Jan. 25, 2006. He has been in custody since the stabbing.

Robinson fits into the highest risk category to commit further sex assaults, a psychologist told court last week.


Drug suspect gets court date

A Red Deer man who was stopped in a weekend Check Stop returns to court on Thursday to enter a plea on drug trafficking in marijuana.

Nathan Dean, 23, reserved his plea on three charges when he appeared in Red Deer provincial court Tuesday.

Dean, who remains in custody, is charged with possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking, breaching a conditional sentence order and driving while suspended.

The vehicle was seized by police and towed to a storage compound, where it will be kept for 60 days as outlined in the Traffic Safety Act.

Const. Sabrina Grunow of city RCMP said on Tuesday that police had just launched a Check Stop on Taylor Drive about 11 p.m. on Oct. 9 when a vehicle was pulled over.

The vehicle had a male driver and a passenger who was later released and not charged.

Police found a large plastic bag of marijuana weighing well over the 30-gram limit that separates the charge of possession of grass for the purpose of trafficking from the charge of possession of marijuana.

The driver was arrested without incident.

Police also found a quantity of cash and various items commonly used to traffic marijuana.


Calls to police down

Calls to police calls for several crimes fell significantly in the week ending Sunday, Red Deer RCMP statistics released Tuesday indicate.

Domestic violence calls dropped 13 to 17 last week while drug investigations dipped to 12 from 29 the previous week. Thefts fell to 59 from 71 the previous week. Total calls for service fell 54 to a total of 731 last week and from 885 two weeks ago.

However, other crime categories remained constant.

Police report 13 vehicles were stolen last week — the same number as the previous week — while break-ins of businesses and residences remained steady at 12.

Other statistics included:

• 28 assaults;

• 136 bylaw infractions;

• nine frauds;

• 35 mischief reports;

• one robbery;

• 26 suspicious persons, vehicles or activities;

• 118 victim services assistance calls.


Collisions increase

The number of reported crashes jumped to 65 last week, from 49 the previous week, according to traffic statistics released by the RCMP for the week ending Saturday.

There were 18 hit-and-run crashes, recorded a decline of three from the previous week.

Police also continue to investigate an average of four drunk drivers a day with 27 investigations last week.

Other weekly statistics included:

• five 24-hour suspensions;

• six liquor tickets;

• 25 non-moving violations such as suspended and unregistered drivers;

• no speeding tickets;

• two no-insurance tickets;

• 14 red light and stop sign tickets (not including photo radar)’

• one seatbelt ticket;

• 41 bylaw and Environmental Protection Act tickets.

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