ATHABASCA – A Calling Lake man previously banned from driving and caught tearing through the community on a dirt bike in the summer of 2022 received a nine-month jail sentence.
Appearing in Athabasca Provincial Court March 27 via CCTV from the Edmonton Remand Centre, Lindsie John Bigstone, 35, pleaded guilty to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, while additional charges of obstructing a peace officer, resisting a peace officer, possession of a controlled substance, driving without insurance, driving while unauthorized and operating an unregistered motor vehicle were withdrawn by Crown prosecutor Andrew Dirgo.
Judge Ken Tjosvold agreed to the joint-sentence submission from Dirgo and defence lawyer Elizabeth Salley on a nine-month jail sentence for Bigstone, time deemed served by the 200 days credited at one-to-one-and-a-half he’s spent at the ERC since Sept. 9, 2022. Judge Tjosvold also agreed to ban Bigstone from driving for the next two years but did waive the victim-fine surcharge.
Salley said Bigstone “struggled to survive” his upbringing and had been adopted when he was two months old and was raised in “an alcoholic home” and “introduced to this lifestyle at a very early age.”
“He’s struggled with addiction and is really at a point in his life where he is willing to turn over a new leaf and become a different person from what his record shows. He is willing to look for employment and become a responsible father because he does have a young daughter,” said Salley, noting her client had waived his right to Gladue Report. “He wants to become someone better.”
Dirgo also noted that Bigstone received a 12-month jail sentence in 2019 for dangerous operation of motor vehicle “as well as several other charges” while Judge Tjosvold added that if Bigstone is caught driving before the ban is up “it’ll be automatic jail time and a further driving prohibition, so don’t drive until you get a new licence.”
“I just want to say that I’m sorry for everything I’ve done,” said Bigstone from the ERC.
Dirgo told court that around 2 p.m. July 12, 2022, Athabasca RCMP were patrolling Calling Lake when they spotted a red dirt bike being piloted by a man with a woman on the back.
“The male matched the description of recent shooting suspect who had been seen driving on a similar conveyance,” Dirgo explained.
Police followed at a distance and saw the bike nearly strike pedestrians on Park Drive in what Birgo said was a “clear attempt to evade police.” The bike then headed west off road “at a high speed” into the bush — police no longer could hear the bike, so they believed the suspects were on foot.
Police began walking into the bush and located the two — Bigstone ran, while the woman “walked away southbound” and when they caught up with her, she confirmed Bigstone had been the driver. The bike had no registration or insurance, while a police check revealed that Bigstone had a suspended licence.