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 guilty of bizarre assault banned from Similkameen village 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 that 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.

Just Posted

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Goosebumps helped scare off predators

Your morning start for Tuesday, June 15, 2021

(Dave Ogilvie photo)
One injured after being pinned by fallen forklift near Peachland

West Kelowna emergency crews responded to reports of a person stuck under a forklift

Two police vehicles were damaged and one person was arrested after police responded to a disturbance outside of a residence in Vernon on Friday, June 11, 2021, in the 2300 block of 36th Street. (Justin Ketterer - Contributed)
Kelowna man arrested after crashing into 2 Vernon cop cars

Man’s attempt to flee police fails Friday in residential neighbourhood

2021’s Westside Daze will be a mix of online and safe in-person events. (Westside Daze)
Westside Daze is back with a variety of safe events online and in-person

Last year’s Westside July celebrations were cancelled due to the pandemic

(Big White Ski Resort/Contributed)
Big White’s big clean-up: Large turnout for post-melt mountain tidy

More than 165 people showed up to help gather the litter left behind from the winter season

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)
Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

Jane Linden
KCR: Volunteering keeps you active

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Most Read