Being late for jail turns out to be a costly mistake

Being 15 minutes late for jail nearly cost a Kamloops man a great deal of freedom.

As it was, those 15 minutes kept Jason Cofield in jail for seven days - a stretch he expected he would be on the street - but it did not take from him his ability to serve a different jail sentence on weekends.

Cofield was charged with being unlawfully at large Sept. 23, after he showed up at KRCC at 6:15 p.m. to serve the first of 15 weekends in custody. He had been granted an intermittent sentence just four days before for assault causing bodily harm.

The guards at KRCC refused him entry, however, and called police. Cofield was arrested and was in prison on remand until Friday, when he pleaded guilty.

Prosecutor Catriona Elliott said Cofield has a lengthy criminal record, including for other beaches of court orders.

"The Crown felt it was in the public interest to proceed with it, even though it was only 15 minutes," she said. "It was his obligation to be there on time."

Defence lawyer Jeremy Jensen told the court his client appreciates the nature of the "gift" he was given when handed an intermittent sentence in the first place. The man missed a bus and scrambled at the last minute to get a taxi to the jail.

Cofield said he knows he should have been on time, but getting to the jail was not as easy as it seems, as the City bus service to KRCC is not that good, he added.

"Start walking at 3 p.m. You will get there," said judge Chris Cleaveley.

"Yes, you are absolutely right," Cofield said.

Cleaveley agreed seven days in jail is sufficient penalty for being 15 minutes late. He released the man again, telling him he will have to ensure he is at the jail on time or he will lose his intermittent sentence and serve it in the usual fashion.

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