Nova Scotia

Billard handed more jail time

Archie Billard was sentenced Friday to an extra two months and three days in jail for driving while disqualified in January.

Archie Billard was sentenced Friday to an extra two months and three days in jail for driving while disqualified in January.

Billard, 22, of Halifax, pleaded guilty last month to that charge and charges of breach of probation and possession of a prohibited weapon — a knife. It was the second time he was nabbed for driving while disqualified.

Halifax provincial court Judge Anne Derrick gave Billard 1½ times credit for time served since Jan. 22, so a nine-month sentence was reduced to two months and three days.

Derrick also added an extra year to his 10-year driving ban, which will now expire in 2021. 

The judge stressed rehabilitation because she said she was concerned that Billard is becoming institutionalized after five years behind bars.

"Mr. Billard will be returning to live in the community sooner or later…Rehabiliation will have to strengthen his ability to function effectively outside of prison. The better Mr. Billard functions in the community, the better off the community will be," Derrick said.

Kris Buttard said his friend deserved a lighter sentence because Billard was only moving the car for a friend who had been drinking.

"It wasn't  like his past — things like recklessness and impulsiveness. He was just trying to help someone out," he said.

Billard has been prohibited from driving since 2004 when he was convicted of dangerous driving causing the death of Theresa McEvoy, a Halifax teacher's aide. Billard was 16 when he ran a red light in a stolen car — high on marijuana — and killed McEvoy.

Last fall, Billard was released from prison after serving a 4½-year prison sentence in McEvoy's death.

Then, in January, he was arrested in a downtown Halifax parking lot after bumping into a police officer while reversing a car.

Billard has been in custody at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth since that time.

Crown attorney Rick Miller wanted the judge to send Billard to jail for two years minus the 4½ months he's already served in order to send a message.

"Well, I guess we can always hope that Mr. Billard will rehabilitate himself. But, from the Crown point of view, he hasn't had much luck in the past with any efforts in rehabilitation and that's why the Crown was seeking a stiffer penalty in terms of denunciation and deterrence," Miller said outside court.

"Mr. Billard hasn't showed much regard for court orders. We can only hope that he will take efforts to rehabilitate himself, and not put the public at risk in the future."