A P.E.I. man who was a passenger in a vehicle he stole when the driver stopped to go to the bathroom was recently given a conditional discharge.
Raymond Joseph O’Donnell, 38, appeared before Judge John Douglas in provincial court in Charlottetown where he pleaded guilty to theft of a motor vehicle.
Crown attorney Lisa Goulden told the court that on Feb. 2, O’Donnell was with the victim driving around.
At one point, the victim got out to use the washroom and when she went back outside the vehicle was gone.
Goulden said O’Donnell drove the vehicle into a tree line and suffered injuries that included a broken femur and fractured ribs.
The court heard the victim only had public liability insurance and wasn’t covered for the damage to the vehicle.
Defence lawyer Conor Mullin told the court O’Donnell was expressing significant distress from mental-health issues at the time.
O’Donnell quit methadone cold turkey and hadn’t slept for a week, Mullin said.
In giving O’Donnell a conditional discharge, Douglas accepted a joint recommendation from the Crown and defence.
O’Donnell will be on probation for one year and must pay $4,921 in restitution to the victim.