Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for January 21, 2014

Former cabbie assaulted woman, drove impaired

A former Whitehorse taxi driver has pleaded guilty to driving drunk while passengers were in the cab.

By Christopher Reynolds on January 21, 2014 at 3:18 pm

A former Whitehorse taxi driver has pleaded guilty to driving drunk while passengers were in the cab.

Roy Mervyn, 52, entered guilty pleas in territorial court Monday to charges of impaired driving, dangerous driving and assault which arose from an incident on Dec. 1, 2012.

Mervyn admitted to assaulting a woman at a party that Saturday evening, then chauffeuring two passengers through Whitehorse while drunk.

Mervyn, who was fired from Grizzly Bear Taxi after the incident, also pleaded guilty to several breaches of court orders.

Two other assault charges and one of uttering threats will likely be stayed, a Crown lawyer said. That means they could be resurrected for up to a year.

Mervyn will remain in custody pending sentencing, likely to occur within the next month.

The ex-cabbie is under a no-contact order with a Whitehorse woman.

“Just so it’s clear for Mr. Mervyn, a no-contact clause means no contact by any means whatsoever,” Judge Peter Chisholm said Monday.

“If you violate that, you will be subject to further charges, and possibly further punishment. Do you understand this, Sir?”

Mervyn grunted in the affirmative.

During his first few months at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre, Mervyn phoned the woman roughly 300 times – in spite of the no-contact order.

He continued to contact her indirectly after authorities told him to stop, according to the Crown.

“He calls his brother and his brother passes on messages to her,” said Crown lawyer Bonnie Macdonald.

Mervyn sat in court shoeless — like all individuals in custody before a judge — in a black T-shirt and blue jeans. A black pony tale, handlebar mustache and grey sideburns framed his face.

“I knew that I had to watch him all the time,” Don Francoeur, the owner of Grizzly Bear Taxi at the time, told the Star today.

“He didn’t come back (to the company). And I wouldn’t have him back, either.”

Francouer said this was the first time he had to deal with a driver who was drunk on duty.

He said there is only one way to handle such situations: “Fire them.

“You no longer have a job and you no longer will ever have a job, as far as I’m concerned.”

The judge may take Mervyn’s First Nations background and endangering of passengers into account in his upcoming sentencing.

If the defence requests a Gladue analysis by the court, his sentence may be adjusted in recognition of the discrimination, abuse, cultural dislocation or addictions, among other factors, many aboriginal offenders have struggled with.

An aggravating factor, however, could be Mervyn’s reckless endangerment of the two passengers he drove through Whitehorse while drunk on that evening 13 months ago.

Taxi drivers are in a position of trust, territorial court Judge Michael Cozens said in a 2012 court case that also involved a cabbie.

Women have a reasonable expectation that they will be transported safely when they call a cab company, he said during the sentencing in October 2012.

In that case, former Whitehorse taxi driver Rodrigo Moreno-Torres was convicted of sexually assaulting one of his passengers in his Quality cab in December 2011.

The Yukon’s highest court dismissed last month the appeal of Moreno-Torres, 42, who was found guilty of taking advantage of the 23-year-old passenger while parked at a bus turn-around.

In Whitehorse, where the weather is cold much of the year and public transit is limited, the trial judge noted, many residents rely on taxis, particularly at night or early in the morning.

By CHRISTOPHER REYNOLDS
Star Reporter

CommentsAdd a comment

ugh.

Jan 21, 2014 at 5:16 pm

“The judge may take Mervyn’s First Nations background and endangering of passengers into account in his upcoming sentencing.”

I hope this doesn’t mean he gets off a little easier due to being FN.  Being FN doesn’t give anyone an excuse for assault and driving drunk. 

I’m so tired of this.

Just Say'in

Jan 21, 2014 at 5:50 pm

“his sentence may be adjusted in recognition of the discrimination, abuse, cultural dislocation or addictions, among other factors, many aboriginal offenders have struggled with”.

And if he was White then this wouldn’t apply. What kind of Racial BS is this coming from our courts? I can’t believe that these race based decisions are being allowed in these days of political correctness. Oh yeah I forgot in only goes one way.

anonymous

Jan 22, 2014 at 2:12 pm

I have been noticing a greater and greater trend of racism against white people. So much for First Nation peoples preaching equality when they show so much racism against the white people these days. It’s sad that one group of people get so much leniency because of the past but other groups who had it just as bad or worse don’t get anything.
Black People were slaves for years, Jews were slaves even before that, and then were subjugated to harsh events from Germans. Scottish were subjugated by English and still are.  This country is not working towards equality, it’s working towards making the “white man” a minority with no say in anything.

Always a Yukoner

Jan 22, 2014 at 3:15 pm

I’m First Nations, had a rough up bringing, hard life etc etc, does this mean if I break the law, regardless of what it is, the judge will take this into consideration, GIVE ME A BREAK!!! I would not expect any special treatment!!
Everyone seems to use their up bringing, nationality, boo hoo story to get out of being accountable for breaking the law.  Tired of hearing these sob stories!!!  You broke the law, pay the penalty!!

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