Kelowna career criminal awaits sentencing in the new year

Mader revved the engine and stared at the officer holding the gun. Then he drove away with tires squealing and his engine roaring ...

A Kelowna man convicted of manslaughter in 2010, got caught in the cross-hairs of police yet again last December when he was found behind the wheel of a stolen truck.

And when they closed in on him that time, career criminal Daniel Mader took flight.

During a Wednesday sentencing hearing addressing that Dec.4 2013 incident, BC Supreme Court Justice Peter Rogers was told that Mader came to the attention of police as they were surveilling a Hein Road home.

Crown counsel Kurt Froehlich told the court that two officers in an unmarked vehicle, spotted a truck that had been reported stolen out of Merritt at the home in question.

When that ’91 Chevy left, with Mader behind the wheel and his fiancee in the passenger’s seat,  police followed.

Mader drove to a property on Homer Road, and that’s when police officers  recognized him.

Mader is well known to police, with a long criminal record.

Multiple run ins had, among other things, left him with a driving prohibition, which he was clearly in contravention of at that moment.

When the police officer called in what she had seen, an arrest was ordered and two unmarked vehicles pulled in behind the truck, with their police lights on.

Mader ramped the situation up at that point,  Froehlich told the court.

“Mader reversed into the front bumper of the Tahoe,” he told the court, noting that the force levied pushed the police truck into the road.

A police officer who was standing adjacent to the truck had to push themselves off the truck to escape impact.

Then another officer pulled a gun, with police badge showing.

“The truck stopped several seconds,” Froehlich said.

Mader revved the engine and stared at the officer holding the gun.

Then he drove away with tires squealing and his engine roaring, taking out a chain link fence on his way.

Due to the erratic behaviour, police did not take chase, but that didn’t stop Mader from driving in a frightening fashion.

A woman who was driving in the area called 911 when she saw Mader on Hollywood Road.  As he turned onto Springfield Road, weaving through traffic, she tailed him and eventually spotted the truck on Mark Road. She saw Mader and his girlfriend run away.

When police caught up, they found the abandoned truck with a jimmied ignition, still running.

Using an old mobile number for Mader, the police placed a call.

Mader’s fiancee answered, and said that they ran because they were afraid they had run over a police officer, said Froehlich.

Despite assurances that nobody had been hurt, the duo refused to come in.

Mader was arrested two days later while standing in a business parking lot on Dilworth, wearing a blonde wig and a hoodie.

For four charges that those acts encompass, including flight from police and dangerous driving, Froehlich proposed that Mader receive a four to five year sentence.

“Only through good fortune were no pedestrians or other drivers harmed,” said Froehlich. “The danger presented to the members of the public were real and serious.”

Mader’s defence lawyer argued that Mader didn’t argue many of the statements put forth by crown. Instead she highlighted that her client, who had pleaded guilty to four of the five charges stemming from the incident, didn’t quite realize it was police he was running from and also mentioned that her client’s history was a mitigating factor.

While he’s currently on an upswing, having just completed his high school diploma, Mader’s history is marked with medical and psychological issues, she said.

One of the factors she raised, Mader’s purported Metis heritage, was of particular interest to Justice Rogers.

If Mader is indeed of Metis descent, then he is entitled to a Gladue report.

According to Section 718.2(e) of the Criminal Code, as well as the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Gladue,    Judges should account for  Aboriginal heritage when making sentencing decisions.

Gladue asks judges to apply a method of analysis that recognizes the adverse background cultural impact factors that many Aboriginals face.  In a Gladue analysis these factors, if present in their personal history, work to mitigate or reduce the culpability of offenders.  Judges are then asked to consider all reasonable alternatives to jail in light of this.  Such an analysis, then, is more likely to lead to a restorative justice remedy being used either in place of a jail sentence or combined with a reduced term.

With that in mind, Rogers ordered a Gladue report and moved the sentencing date over to the new year. It’s expected that the matter will be before the court in the first week of January, then again nearly two months later for sentencing.

Mader will remain in custody as the report is completed. Rogers noted that it was unfortunate that the matter of Aboriginal history was not raised until so late in the process.

Kelowna Capital News

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