In March 2015, Coalmont resident Roland Giroux drove his car into the town’s only telephone booth with Warren Spence in it. Giroux was found guilty on July 24 in (Black Press file photo)

In March 2015, Coalmont resident Roland Giroux drove his car into the town’s only telephone booth with Warren Spence in it. Giroux was found guilty on July 24 in (Black Press file photo)

Man found guilty in bizarre assault banished from Coalmont for a year

Roland Giroux convicted of assault charges related to striking man in telephone booth with vehicle

A Similkameen man who was found guilty of driving his vehicle into a telephone booth while another man was inside has been banned from the Village of Coalmont for a year.

Roland Giroux, 69, was convicted of one count of assault with a weapon and one count of assault causing bodily harm after an incident that destroyed the only telephone booth in the Village of Coalmont in 2015.

B. C. Supreme Court Justice Christopher Grauer concluded Wednesday the medical evidence the defence brought forward on July 23 that said Giroux might have suffered an epileptic seizure, which could have caused him to lose control of his vehicle and crash into the phone booth, didn’t provide reasonable doubt.

READ MORE: Bizarre alleged assault trial where Coalmont’s only payphone destroyed

Giroux was sentenced to a one year suspended sentence, essentially a year of probation, after the Justice took into account his severe medical condition, advanced age and that he does not have a criminal record. He is also not permitted to be in Coalmont for the duration of the sentence. Giroux had been under house arrest since the incident in 2015 and currently lives in Princeton to be closer to the hospital.

Grauer called the evidence of “limited use” in establishing reasonable doubt, adding an epileptic seizure was inconsistent with the agreed statement of facts.

According to the agreed statement of facts read in Supreme Court in Penticton on July 23, Giroux saw Warren Spence, a man he was known to have ill-will toward, in the booth while he drove by on his way home on March 29, 2015.

Giroux travelled one or two blocks before changing direction and headed back to the street where the booth was. From there, he lined up his red 1989 Ford Escort with the telephone booth while Spence was still inside.

READ MORE: Little village has big problems

Giroux stopped for a few seconds before accelerating quickly, ramming his vehicle into the telephone booth. The booth was destroyed and knocked off its foundation. Spence was thrown out and suffered lacerations and soft tissue damage to his knees.

Giroux said, “If I can get this car going, I’m going to finish the job,” when he got out and tried to strike Spence with his walking stick. The statement of facts also say that Spence had to arm himself with a shovel to scare Giroux away.

READ MORE: Judge hopes Coalmont feud stops

Grauer said there was no reason for Giroux to turn back to the phone booth on his way back home, saying “Giroux undertook acts in which he intended to cause bodily harm.” He said an epileptic seizure was also inconsistent with what happened after, when Giroux exited his car and said he was going to “finish the job.”

On Tuesday, the court heard from two witnesses, Dr. Ella Munro of Princeton General Hospital and Penticton neurologist Dr. Niall Davidson.

Dr. Munro, who is a witness for the defence and treated Giroux when he came in with the RCMP after the incident, is Giroux’s family physician.

Over the years, she has treated him for a host of health conditions, such as coronary artery disease, a brain injury and skull fractures from a snowmobile accident and blindness in his right eye. He was also diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2014.

Munro said in court that Giroux told her his heart had been racing and he was experiencing dizzy spells. When he arrived in the emergency room in Princeton, he had a laceration straight through his lip, which she said she thought might have been caused by a loss of consciousness at the time of the impact.

But after a 72-hour observation period, Munro said his heart rate was stable and there was nothing to explain the incident. She also said that after further CT scans months later and an analysis by Dr. Davidson, Giroux could have suffered a seizure, resulting from epilepsy. Giroux was prescribed anti-seizure medication which improved his condition.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Even with COVID travel restrictions the occupancy rate at the campground shot from 17 per cent to 45 per cent in 2020.  Photo Town of Princeton
Princeton’s town-owned RV park caught ‘campfire’ in 2020

Tourism director has even bigger plans for coming year

Reactions to the federal government’s proposed gun legislation are mixed across the province. (File photo)
Princeton mayor has no appetite for local handgun ban

Newly tabled federal legislation will download decision to municipalities

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Interior Health reported 43 new COVID-19 cases in the region Feb. 23, 2021 and no additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
43 new cases of COVID reported in Interior Health

No new deaths, Williams Lake outbreak over

Jolene and Hermione are two of the horses that were rescued from Princeton last year and they have found a forever home. Photo submitted
Horses rescued from Princeton farm find happiness

SPCA seized 97 animals in September 2020

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

The District of Sicamous announced plans to purchase and manage the Sicamous Medical Centre on Tuesday, Feb. 24. Colleen Anderson and Malcolm Makayev have been overseeing this and other health matters on behalf of the district’s council. (Jim Elliot-Eagle Valley News)
Sicamous to purchase retiring doctor’s business, take over management

Move intended to attract new doctors by allowing them to focus on patient care

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

(File photo)
‘Give me your stuff! Oh, hello, officer’: Man surprised by Kamloops Mountie

A man trying to enter a vehicle stopped in Kamloops was greeted by an off-duty Kamloops Mountie inside

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
B.C. woman has nothing but praise for Elder Dog Canada

National organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but needs more clients to serve

Project rendering of Hadgraft Wilson Place (CNW Group/Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation)
68-unit affordable housing complex coming downtown Kelowna

The six-storey complex located on Fuller Ave is set to be completed by fall 2022

A man was arrested after he refused to vacate Alexander’s Beach Pub in Coldstream while not adhering to the business’s COVID-19 mask-wearing policy Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. (Google Maps photo)
Man arrested for refusing to leave Coldstream store without wearing mask

Store owner says man likely came in looking for an argument: ‘the fellow had a notepad’

Malakwa firefighters bring a barn blaze under control in the 4,000 block of the Trans-Canada Highway on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Barn fire prompts fundraiser for Shuswap family of eight

Blaze leaves Malakwa family in need of feed, supplies for beloved horses

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP and the BX-Swan Lake Fire Department are on scene of a reported quonset fire fully involved in the 900 block of Pottery Road. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Crews douse North Okanagan workshop fire

BX-Swan Lake Fire Department battling blaze on property in Vernon Wednesday, Feb. 24

Most Read