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Judge in Princeton halts sentencing after learning victim impact statements were not sought

Shane Allison remains in OCC as Crown looks for input
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Shane Allison remains incarcerated at OCC. (File photo)

A sentencing for a Hedley-area man charged with weapons offences ended abruptly last Thursday, May 15, when circuit court judge Shannon Keyes learned that victims of the crime were not given an opportunity to provide impact statements.

Shane Allison, who has been incarcerated at Okanagan Correctional Centre (OCC) since an incident occurred Nov. 25, 2023, was ready to stand trial on three counts – careless use of a firearm, possession of a firearm contrary to order and breach of a release order.

Instead, he rescinded his original not guilty plea, and pleaded guilty to the first count.

Crown and defense put forward a joint submission, recommending that Allison be sentenced to 200 days.

Court heard that Allison was unlawfully on his family’s property, having attended a funeral earlier in the day, when he began shooting a gun erratically on the Highway 3 property.

Police were called, and attended along with the RCMP Emergency Response Team and Allison was taken into custody.

The Cr-own said it was jointly agreed that Allison was impaired by drugs at the time, was on probation, and under conditions to not attend his family’s home and to not posses firearms.

Keyes stressed the seriousness of the charges, and the importance of victim impact statements in reaching an appropriate sentence.

Noting that the incident occurred on band land, she said the band should be able to respond as a community, and that three of Allison’s family members who were affected should also have the opportunity to submit statements.

“This kind of offence seems to be a big problem…Young men shooting off rifles for whatever reason they choose to shoot them. It causes alarm and all sorts of things.”

The sentencing was adjourned, and Crown was given a week to pursue impact statements.

To proceed under the circumstances “would bring the administration of justice into disrepute,” said Keyes.

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Andrea DeMeer

About the Author: Andrea DeMeer

Andrea is the publisher of the Similkameen Spotlight.
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