Problem drunks affect the public

It wasn’t a pretty sight when Jimmy Pielle was found passed out in the public washroom at the downtown Community Centre.

On March 24, around 2:30 p.m., RCMP were called by staff after Pielle was found in a stall, with his pants down and his head hanging over the toilet bowl, said Crown prosecutor David Fitzsimmons on Monday in provincial court.

The washroom was immediately closed until officers arrived. It then took some effort to wake a drunken Pielle who was told to wash up before being taken into custody.

Reading from the police report, Fitzsimmons said the clean-up seemed like a “monumental effort” for the 31-year-old who was slow and deliberate in his movements.

It also wasn’t the first time Pielle was arrested for being drunk in public. In February, he received a 21-day sentence for a similar offence and was on a probation order when he was arrested last week.

This time Fitzsimmons asked Judge Brian Saunderson to impose a 30-day jail sentence after Pielle pleaded guilty to a single count of mischief.

The prosecutor acknowledged that Pielle has a serious problem with alcohol, but his choice of hanging around the Community Centre, while impaired, affects the quality of life for everyone who goes there.

Duty counsel lawyer Vince Martin said 30 days was a fit sentence and that Pielle wants to get into the 28-day detox program at the Second Chance Recovery House.

“He has a problem and he has to deal with it,” Martin said.

And just after Pielle was led away to cells, another problem alcoholic appeared before the judge.

Andrew Maquinna, 30, was taken into custody on March 23, in Gold River, and later charged with four counts of causing a disturbance and two counts of failing to abide by a probation order.

The court heard that a drunken Maquinna was banging on doors and trying to force his way into apartment units. All but one of the charges were dropped after he pleaded guilty to a single count of failing to comply with his probation order.

Judge Saunderson then asked how much Maquinna drinks. The unemployed Gold River man replied that he consumes between 24 and 48 beer almost daily.

Maquinna acknowledge that he needs help and the the judge urged him to get it quickly.

“Get some help. You need it and the public needs it,” said Judge Saunderson who sentenced him to time served.


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