B.C. judge cracks down on man with 60 convictions

Posted Mar 17, 2023 6:28pm ET

Updated March 17, 2023 6:30 PM ET

An RCMP officer issues a speeding ticket during a speed enforcement campaign in May.

A BC man faces a harsh sentence of eight months in prison, a year of house arrest and a three-year ban from driving over his recent driving charges on a list of dozens of 33 years.

At the hearing of Dennis Dafoe’s verdict in Vernon last month, Judge Jeremy Guild received a joint submission from the Crown and the defense calling for concurrent prison terms of 120 days, a three-year driving ban and a $1,000 fine for every two were driving offenses Dafoe was charged last year.

Guild called the proposed penalties “incredibly lenient under all circumstances,” noting Dafoe’s criminal history.

The 54-year-old was sentenced 60 times between 1988 and 2021, and he currently has a driving ban until 2034.

“This will be Mr. Dafoe’s 10th and 11th disqualification driving convictions,” Guild wrote.

The most recent charges against Dafoe for violating driving bans date back to 2022. On April 24, he was caught speeding in Vernon, and on May 28, Vancouver police caught Dafoe driving under the influence.

Guild found it telling that Dafoe couldn’t give any reason for driving in Vancouver other than “because his niece was a victim and had been injured.”

“His reaction doesn’t explain why he felt entitled to drink and drive in Vancouver. His comments just reinforce my view: He believes he can drive when he wants and is willing to go to jail if caught,” Guild wrote.

When Dafoe was caught speeding in Vernon, it was only nine months since he had served a 60-day jail sentence for another driving ban.

“I conclude that Mr Dafoe knew before his trip that if convicted, he would face more than 60 days in prison. And before he drove again, he knew he was going to jail longer. 120 days in prison will not and will not deter him,” the decision said.

The judge acknowledged that Dafoe had not been convicted of illegal driving in the four and a half years following a 30-month incarceration – his longest to date.

“He has lost any credit that could be given to him for this gap in offense,” Guild wrote. “The sentence has to be so high that he knows that if he drives banned again, he’s going to spend a lot longer in prison.”

Guild thought eight months in prison was the appropriate sentence for the Vernon crime and sentenced Dafoe to 12 months house arrest on the Vancouver charges. A three-year driving ban will come into effect once Dafoe completes his time in prison.

“Driving is a privilege. It’s not right. He lost that right many times. These offenses show that he still doesn’t care,” the verdict concludes.

Dafoe was recently diagnosed with cancer, “with polyps found in the lower half of his body and in his lungs,” according to the decision.

Chemotherapy was recommended, and Dafoe is “satisfied that he is receiving adequate care within the province’s correctional system,” Guild said.


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