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Man jailed in spite of loving comments

Donald Walker tried to spread the love, but all he got in return was a jail term.

The 34-year-old Tahsis man had his conditional sentence cancelled and was ordered to remain behind bars after pleading guilty to several offences on Monday in Campbell River provincial court.

However, given the chance to speak, Walker was in a friendly mood.

“I messed up…and I just want to get back to work,” he said, and then concluded, “and judge, I love you.”

Judge Allan Gould did not respond, but Walker wasn’t done yet.

Appearing by video from cells in Victoria, Walker wasn’t able to see his wife who was seated in the public gallery, but was out of video range.

However, he did spot his girlfriend in the gallery and expressed his love for her before being led away.

Walker said his troubles began five years ago when he sold two tabs of ecstasy in Revelstoke.

The building contractor said he’s not a drug dealer, but did plead guilty to trafficking a controlled substance.

As a result, in a deal with the prosecution, Walker accepted a one-year conditional sentence so he could continue working rather than a six-month jail term.

But as part of the conditional sentence, Walker was ordered to abstain from alcohol and to not go into any licensed establishments.

This, he said, has led to several problems which have “snowballed.”

He was also ordered to abide by a 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew.

At 10:15 p.m., on April 12, Walker was in Alert Bay and went to the medical clinic looking for narcotics. He had done the same thing earlier in the day at the clinic in nearby Port McNeill.

The nurse in Alert Bay contacted police due to Walker’s behaviour. He appeared intoxicated when officers picked him up and then gave him a ride to where he was staying.

Later though, Walker returned to the clinic and police were called again. This time he was arrested and found with a prohibited folding knife.

On the morning of June 13, Walker was driving near Gold River when he was stopped at a police road check and found to be under the influence of alcohol. He tried to explain he was at a party the night before, had taken his last drink at 3 a.m., and that alcohol was still “in his pores.”

However, at the RCMP detachment, Walker provided blood-alcohol readings of .140 and .120 – the legal limit is .08 – and was charged with impaired driving. He also did not have a driver’s licence.

Then on June 20, he failed to show up for a court appearance in Port Hardy to answer to breach charges stemming from the incidents in Alert Bay.

Lastly, on Aug. 6, Mounties were called to the Spar Tree Pub in Tahsis after an intoxicated Walker was asked to leave and then kicked the door, causing damage to the frame. Police learned that Walker drank daily at the pub.

In light of the eight new charges, federal prosecutor Paul Corbett asked Judge Allan Gould to rescind Walker’s conditional sentence while  the provincial Crown, Bruce Goddard, called for 54 more days of jail time to run consecutively to the 11 months remaining on the drug sentence.

In spite of Walker’s guilty pleas to six of the charges, Judge Gould adopted the Crowns’ recommendations, pointing out that a conditional sentence is typically viewed as giving someone a break.

“Sir, you’ve left me without an easy choice,” the judge said. “A sensible decision…is to terminate the conditional sentence order.”

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