Stress in man's life likely factor to drinking, accident

A St. John's court was told on Wednesday that stress in Glen Johnson's life contributed to his drinking and a serious traffic accident in 2012.
Glen Johnson pleaded guilty to several offences including impaired driving causing bodily harm, driving while prohibited and assaulting an officer. (CBC)

A St. John's court was told on Wednesday that stress in a man's life contributed to his drinking and a serious traffic accident.

Glen Johnson, 42, pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing bodily harm, assaulting an officer, and driving while disqualified.

The court was told that 2012 was not a good year for Johnson. His marriage broke down and he learned his daughter was ill. 

Johnson began drinking heavily.

In May 2012, he was picked up for impaired driving and for refusing the breathalyzer.

Johnson had a brief stay in jail and was put on probation. He was also prohibited from driving for a year.

On Boxing Day 2012, a much larger incident occurred. 

Johnson had been drinking that day, and around 9 p.m., caused an accident on Pitts Memorial Drive.

On Boxing Day 2012, Glen Johnson was driving in the wrong direction on Pitts Memorial Drive, colliding with another vehicle. (CBC)

He was driving the wrong way — west in the east bound lane — and collided with a woman who was driving in the right direction.

When emergency responders arrived at the accident scene, Johnson became belligerent.  

Johnson told an Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officer the other vehicle had hit him, and then took a couple of swings at the officer. 

Outside his truck, Johnson tried to kick at the officers as they were putting him into the back of a cruiser. 

The woman and her boyfriend suffered serious soft tissue injuries to their backs and necks. 

The court was told they might never fully recover. 

Crown prosecutor Lynn Moore said Johnson should get eight to 12 months in prison, and be prohibited from driving for eight years. 

Moore added it was luck that no one was killed, and society expects Johnson to be kept off the road. 

Defence lawyer Scott Hurley noted that Johnson's doctor said the stress in his family life likely contributed to his drinking and the accident, and that he's getting counselling and has stopped drinking.

Hurley recommended six to eight months in prison. 

Johnson will be sentenced Oct. 1.  


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