Man without licence jailed for 'extremely dangerous' driving offences

By NanaimoNewsNOW Staff
February 1, 2019 - 3:52pm Updated: February 1, 2019 - 6:01pm

35-year-old Preston James Terepocki was sentenced Friday in provincial court in Nanaimo for numerous crimes locally and in Surrey.Facebook

NANAIMO — A man was jailed for numerous offences, including causing a wrong-way crash in Surrey while high on cocaine and stealing a bait car in Nanaimo.

Preston James Terepocki, 35, was sentenced in court in Nanaimo Friday to nearly 14 months in jail after pleading guilty to eight counts. He'll be out in under six-and-a-half months due to credit for time served.

Crown prosecutor Nick Barber laid out the agreed statement of facts against Terepocki, which highlighted an egregious driving record despite the fact court was told he doesn't have his learner's licence.

Barber said on Nov. 16, 2017 Terepocki was high on cocaine while speeding in a BMW against the flow of traffic in Surrey on King Geroge Blvd. He slammed into a gravel truck, suffering a broken femur, Barber said. Multiple witnesses reported Terepocki was traveling upwards of 180 kilometres an hour prior to totaling his car.

Barber then outlined a crime spree Terepocki undertook in Nanaimo where he stole a bait car on Sept. 5, 2018.

However, due to a malfunction with the car, police weren't able to disable the vehicle, allowing Terepocki to steal $3,000 worth of tools from Harmac Pacific several hours later, court was told.

Terepocki was surrounded by several RCMP cruisers on the top level parkade at Port Place Shopping Centre that same day and was arrested after driving into a wall.

Numerous suspected stolen items, including keys to other vehicles, drugs and cash were found in the car.

In handing down his decision, Judge Brian Harvie scolded Terepocki, telling him driving is a privilege and not a right.

“Those people who choose to drive dangerously and come before the court with a related record, while on probation, while on a driving prohibition should expect the court do deal with that person severely,” Judge Harvey said, describing Terepocki's dactions as extremely dangerous.

Terepocki sat silently in a prison-issued jumpsuit and did not speak during his sentencing. 

He has a lengthy record peppered with driving offences, fleeing police, assaults, property crimes and probation breaches. 

He was given a two-year driving ban, and Barber indicated Terepocki could be outlawed from driving for an indefinite period.

Cheyne Hodson, Terepocki's lawyer, said his client's behaviour was fueled by an addiction to hard drugs, a problem he wants to address. Terepocki was born and raised in Chilliwack and had a good middle-class upbringing, but hung out with the wrong crowd in high school and dropped out in grade 10.

Hodson said Terepocki made strides while in jail, including completing high school.

Hodson said arrangements have been made for Terepocki's brother to help him start an auto detailing business upon his release.


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