Sayward man charged with sex assault facing breach charges

When the pursuing officer finally caught up with the suspect vehicle, it was travelling at speeds of 140-160 kilometres an hour

A Sayward resident facing a sexual assault charge was granted bail again after two further run-ins with the law.

John Ladd moved to the Sayward Valley last year from North Vancouver and has no previous criminal record.

However, he was charged with sexual assault following an incident that allegedly took place April 9 in Sayward.

Details of the charge cannot be reported due to a publication ban.

Ladd was arrested April 24 for sexual assault and released on bail. Then on May 9, Sayward RCMP received a report of someone throwing liquor containers from a northbound vehicle on the Island Highway.

When the pursuing officer finally caught up with the suspect vehicle, it was travelling at speeds of 140-160 kilometres an hour.

By the time the officer spotted the vehicle, it took another two kilometres to finally catch up, but the driver did pull over.

The only person in the vehicle was Ladd and the officer could smell alcohol and fresh marijuana.

The officer seized 12 grams of marijuana and arrested Ladd for breach of his bail order.

Ladd’s car was also impounded for seven days, due to the excessive speed, however, he was released again from custody after being charged with a single count of breaching a bail order.

Then on May 16, at 9:55 a.m., police dealt with Ladd again after he was observed yelling at a male hitchhiker near the Sayward Junction.

The arresting officer noted that Ladd “reeked of alcohol,” and said, “I had a few drinks last night.”

Ladd was arrested again for breach and this time was held in custody at the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre in Victoria.

On Monday, Ladd appeared by video in Campbell River provincial court for another bail hearing.

Crown prosecutor Bruce Goddard asked that Ladd be detained because he can’t seem to abide by the bail conditions, but defence lawyer Sarah Runyon argued for her client’s release.

“He didn’t understand the severity of the no-alcohol breach. He understands that now,” she told Judge Thomas Dohm.

Runyon said the jail time has had a significant impact on Ladd who struggles with alcohol.

If released, she said, he intends to attend counselling and alcoholic anonymous meetings.

Judge Dohm remarked that Ladd is a danger to the community if he’s drinking and driving, especially at excessive speeds. However, he granted Ladd bail for $10,000 with a $1,000 deposit.

As part of his bail conditions, Ladd cannot drink, possess any firearms and cannot contact the alleged victim connected with the sexual assault charge.

He’s due back in court on June 2 to fix a trial date.