A former hockey coach struggling with cocaine addiction was shown lenience by a provincial court judge on Monday for making efforts to turn his life around.
Quinten Van Horlick, 37, pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and breach of probation, the breach arising from a 2011 conviction for theft under $5,000.
Van Horlick’s latest brush with the law took place June 10 after a woman told police that her Honda had been stolen. The woman’s daughter subsequently located the vehicle downtown and reported that it was being driven by Van Horlick, an acquaintance of the owner.
Police pulled over the vehicle with Van Horlick at the wheel and arrested him for theft. That charge was never laid because the victim wasn’t certain whether she’d given Van Horlick permission to take the car. In the process of searching and arresting the man, however, police found a small quantity of cocaine.
Defence counsel Jeremy Jensen told Judge Stephen Harrison that his client, currently serving three separate probation orders, has been trying to get his life back on track. Van Horlick had a promising hockey career at one time. He played semi-professionally for three years and later ran a hockey school. His life spiralled out of control over the past three years as recreational drug use developed into addiction, Jensen said.
“I’ve gone down the wrong path,” Van Horlick told the judge. “I’m ashamed of the things I’ve done and the problems I’ve caused for people close to me. I want to get back to the person I used to be.”
Van Horlick resides at Henry Leland House and has been making progress with drug counselling.
Noting that the offence could warrant significant time in custody. The judge agreed no further probationary period is needed. He gave the man a $50 fine for possession of cocaine plus one day in jail.