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Court report: December circuit

PORT AUX BASQUES – Provincial circuit court held its last session of the year at the Port aux Basques courthouse on Wednesday, Dec. 2 through Friday, Dec. 4 with Judge Lynn Cole presiding. Court will continue in Stephenville until it returns the March circuit.


During the October circuit, Alexander John Keeping plead guilty to dangerous operation of a conveyance (CCC 2018 [320.13-1]) and possessing controlled drug or substance (CDS 1996 [4-1]).

On Thursday, Dec. 3, Judge Cole imposed a fine of $1,000 for the drug possession and $300 victim surcharge. For the dangerous driving offence, Cole ordered a $2,000 fine and a $600 victim surcharge. Keeping will have two years to pay the fines. He is also prohibited from driving for two years.

Keeping admitted that on July 4, 2020, he was behind the wheel of a vehicle that struck a power pole while driving at a high rate of speed. RCMP attending the scene placed Keeping under arrest and subsequently found him to also be in possession of cocaine. Defence counsel Trevor Murphy noted that although Keeping had been through recovery, cocaine was not his ‘drug of choice’ and there was nothing to indicate that he was under its influence at the time of the accident.

Judge Cole acknowledged that relapses can occur commended Keeping for seeking counseling.

Said Cole, “You’re really lucky because if anybody had been killed or seriously injured you’d be looking at a jail sentence.”


During the July circuit, Dillon Morris plead guilty to mischief relating to property – less than $5,000 (CCC 1995 [430-4-b]). The mischief involved smashing the front windshield of a vehicle in late Oct. 2018 during a domestic dispute.

On Thursday, Dec. 3, Judge Cole ordered Morris to attend counseling as recommended by both the Crown and defense attorneys. Morris has admitted to having anger management issues.

In addition, Morris was placed on a no-contact order and a probation order for the next 18 months. He also has 30 days to pay the victim fine surcharge of $100.

“I do want to encourage you with your counseling to get what you can from it so that this is an isolated occurrence,” stated Cole.

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