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Westlock judge orders no jail time in default for homeless man

Under a special section of the criminal code, Justice Thomas Achtymichuk ordered there be no jail time in default. 
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The man appeared in person before Westlock Court of Justice on July 3.

WESTLOCK – A homeless man living in his truck who had asked the court to give him jail time instead of a fine because he can’t afford to pay the $6,000 fine for driving without insurance was given a year to pay.

Under a special section of the criminal code, Justice Thomas Achtymichuk ordered there be no jail time in default.

“I will not order time in custody and leave it up to the province to collect in a civil case," said Justice Achtymichuk.

The man appeared in person before Westlock Court of Justice on July 3 and said that he has been living out of his truck since he lost his house in October 2023 and picks up seasonal odd jobs for about four different companies and then just parks near the job site and sleeps there while he works.

Justice Achtymichuk said that while the man does earn money, he was taking all of his circumstances into account and his financial situation.

He told the accused, however, that he couldn’t stress enough that the reason the penalty is so severe for driving without insurance is because if he gets into an accident, he doesn’t have insurance to cover the other vehicle and its occupants.

The man had pleaded guilty to driving without insurance in April 2024. This is his second conviction for driving without insurance.