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Boyle judge shuts down suspended sentence plea from local man

Justice chooses 45-day jail stay over rehab, saying she’s ‘not convinced’ offender ready to address addiction issues
Boyle Provincial Court ext summer
Jayden Cardinal recieved a 45-day sentence for obstruction and failing to comply with a release order after he drove off during a traffic stop in 2021.

BOYLE – A young man’s plea for a rehabilitative sentence was denied by a judge at the Boyle Court of Justice on June 11, who was not convinced he was ready to address his issues, despite multiple overdoses.

Jayden Carter Lee Cardinal fled from a police officer following a traffic stop on Sept. 19, 2021. After initially providing his name and date of birth — Cardinal didn’t have a copy of his driver’s licence — Cardinal was informed he was under arrest for an outstanding warrant. Instead of leaving the truck, Cardinal drove off, later abandoning the vehicle on a pipeline road.

John Martins Abu represented Cardinal in court, where counsel asked for a more lenient, rehabilitation-focused sentence that would allow the young man to access treatment at the Poundmaker Lodge Treatment Centre, located near Edmonton.

“All I know is that at this point, he still needs help,” said Abu during a back and forth during the sentencing submissions. “I believe that a second chance would be productive for Mr. Cardinal, considering there have been serious traumas in the past.”

The incident was Cardinal’s first entry on his criminal record, but Justice Andrea Hemmerling opted for a jail sentence, telling Cardinal she didn’t believe he was ready for rehab.

“It is a struggle, it is a journey, it is not going to happen overnight, but I don’t have faith that if I were to provide either sentence that your counsel suggested that you will be successful,” said the judge. “I note that your mother indicated she has assisted you with attempting to get counselling, but you failed to attend the appointments.”

Hemmerling referenced Cardinal’s pre-sentence report, noting that despite a rough upbringing, he had still managed to overcome obstacles and live a “pro-social” life until the loss of his uncle and father in short order caused him to spiral.

“Your family can see that grief is an issue that you haven’t been able to overcome and that you resort to substances. Many times you’ve overdosed — you’re lucky to be alive,” said Hemmerling. “Everybody is scared that you are going to end up killing yourself with your addictions.”

Cardinal acknowledged his issues with drugs, telling Hemmerling he had last overdosed a week ago. He said while he had filled out an application for rehab, it had not yet been submitted.

“I had an overdose, and that’s what really shook me up,” said Cardinal. “I just want to say that I’m sorry.”

Cardinal also received a 15-day sentence for a more recent failure to comply with a release order. He had fifteen days of enhanced pre-trial custody, leaving him with 30 days still to go. Additional charges of possession of stolen property under $5,000, flight from a police officer, and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle were withdrawn.

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