Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Skipping out on cab fares proves costly for man, 46

From the Kingston Whig-Standard Online:

A 46-year old man who developed an aversion to paying for his taxi rides has been sentenced to jail for 26 days and placed on probation for a year.

In addition, Samuel W. Parkinson was ordered Friday to pay the $383.90 he owes taxi drivers in Kingston and Ottawa after he pleaded guilty in Kingston's Ontar io Court of Justice to two counts of transportation fraud and violating a police-issued release undertaking by failing to keep the peace and be of good behaviour.

Justice Judith Beaman was told that Parkinson committed the first fraud on March 16 when he hired a Blue Line Taxi in Ottawa and had the cabbie drive him to Gananoque.

Upon arrival, however, Parkinson got out of the cab and disappeared into Gananoque's Bell Tower Mall, according to assistant Crown attorney John Skoropada, leaving the cab driver on the hook for the $370 fare.

Skoropada said Parkinson was subsequently arrested for the crime but police released him without requiring him to seek bail from a justice of the peace. Instead, he signed an undertaking agreeing to obey the law while waiting for his day in court.

On Nov. 1, however, Beaman was told Parkinson repeated his crime, albeit for a much smaller amount, this time with an Amey's Taxi in Kingston.

Skoropada said Parkinson took a trip from Division Street to College Street, running up $13.90 on the meter. The judge was told he was more brazen the second time around, however. When he got to where he wanted to go, Skoropada said, he got out of the cab, told the driver, "I'm not paying," and left.

As a result, Parkinson ended up spending 34 days in pretrial custody before entering his pleas and his defence lawyer, John Dillon, said his client's wife finally decided she'd had enough and left him.

Dillon also told the judge Parkinson suffered abuse as a youth in the Maritimes and is currently in therapy where "he hopes to get to the bottom of his criminal behaviour."

Parkinson had been in Ottawa looking for a job, according to his lawyer, when he committed the first fraud.

Dillon said his client didn't have any money to get home to Brockville but he hoped when he got into the cab in Ottawa that a friend in Gananoque would pay for his ride. Unfortunately, the friend wasn't home, according to Dillon.

The defence lawyer offered no explanation for his client's reprisal of the offence last month but the judge was assured that Parkinson wants to make restitution.

"I want to get out and grab this right by the horns and get my life straightened out," Parkinson told her.

Beaman agreed to accept the lawyers' joint recommendation on sentencing, but she didn't sound optimistic.

"You have an unbelievably bad record," she told him, for like offences, violence and drugs.


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