Bad decisions in seeing, feeding kids net mother fines

A Stettler woman's desire to see her children in foster care led to a series of bad decisions that netted her a criminal record and fines.

A Stettler woman’s desire to see her children, who are in foster care, led to a series of bad decisions that netted her a criminal record and multiple fines.

At its first sitting of 2016, the Alberta Provincial Court branch in Stettler heard that on Oct. 30, 2015, Jennifer Stang drove an uninsured vehicle from the Stettler area to Drumheller, where her children resided. As Stang was having financial difficulties at the time, her insurance had lapsed just days before the journey to Drumheller due to an inability to pay.

As part of her visitation with her children, Stang was required to provide lunch and had made the journey with all the fixings for sandwiches, except for bread. She stopped at a grocery store in Drumheller and picked up two loaves of bread, but when at the till to pay, said she forgot her wallet in the car and left the store, the court was told.

She then returned, snatched one of the loaves, and fled the store and left the area in her car.

The police were called and later that day Stang turned herself into police, returning half a loaf of bread — the rest having been used to feed her children.

While Judge D.J. Plosz commended Stang for putting her children’s needs above her own, he did condemn her for her actions, noting that the choices she made that day would result in some expensive fines.

For the driving without insurance, Stang netted the minimum fine of $2,875. For the theft of bread, she was fined $150.

“You have a pretty ugly record for such a young woman,” Plosz said. “Your future doesn’t look too good if you keep this up.”

If Stang is unable to pay the fines she’ll end up serving jail time, though Plosz gave her time to pay and, along with duty counsel, suggested looking into programs that would let her work off some of her fines.

Curtis Dyck also ended up with a fine after he was caught with a loaded firearm on Nov. 22, 2015. The court heard that shortly before 11 a.m. on that day, Fish and Wildlife did a random hunter check on Dyck and found that there was a live round in his barrel and one in the magazine of his bolt action rifle. For that, Plosz fined Dyck $150.

While the docket was thick with cases to be seen due to only one court date being held in December, the vast majority of the matters before the court were put over until later in January as the accused sought disclosure, counsel or admittance into programs.