A Colwood man whose once-promising lacrosse career was derailed by a high-speed crash in 2003 is facing further penalties for a string of more recent offences.
Beau Stirling was sentenced at the Western Communities Courthouse July 27 after pleading guilty to three charges, which included impaired driving, theft and breaking and entering.
Stirling was fined $1,000 and given a one-year driving prohibition on the impaired charge. On the theft and break-in counts, he was sentenced to 18 months of probation, ordered to pay $2,200 in restitution to the victim, banned from using any drugs or alcohol and ordered to complete 25 hours of community service plus attend counselling or rehab as directed by his probation officer.
He’s also not allowed to go near 328 Wale Rd., where the crimes were committed between August 2019 and October 2020.
Stirling served three years in prison from 2005 to 2008 for negligence causing bodily harm as the driver in a 2003 crash that killed Ken Hamilton and Travis Bateman, and seriously injured passenger Adrian Harding and himself.
Stirling’s lawyer, Ryan Drury, told the court the crash broke Stirling’s back in seven places, which has left him with chronic pain. After being weaned off Oxycontin, pain flared again and Stirling turned to heroin. That drug addiction fueled this criminal behaviour, Drury said.
Both lawyers and the judge noted that Stirling’s criminal record is short, but severe. The incident happened nearly 20 years ago, but was considered relevant because it involved operating a vehicle.
Stirling said he has been clean for two months and is receiving suboxone injections to help treat withdrawal.
His parents and girlfriend were with him in court, a testament, Drury said to the support he now has. His father, John Stirling, served several years in U.S. prison for cocaine smuggling. He was arrested again in 2020 when he was found with 28 jugs of liquid methamphetamine on board his boat, and sentenced to three years.
Drury told the court John felt guilty for being away for so much of his son’s life, and thought if he had been around he could have helped get his son on the right track before his addiction led to this behaviour.
But Stirling took responsibility, telling the judge, “I want to apologize to the court. I don’t blame it on my father, I blame it on myself. I feel really sorry for whoever got hurt and I will pay it back.”
The crimes took place in Colwood on Aug. 8, 2019, and May 1 and Oct. 5, 2020.
In the first incident, he was found by an officer on patrol to be heavily intoxicated while behind the wheel. He was arrested and his car impounded. In May the next year, he was arrested at 328 Wale Rd. for stealing two wallets. In October, he had obtained a key to the 328 Wale Rd. storage locker room and stole an electric bicycle.
An additional outstanding offense occurred in February 2021. Stirling is charged in Victoria with possession of stolen property. Trial for that case is scheduled for Nov. 8, 2021.
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