CORNER BROOK — A senior citizen from Corner Brook found out that ignorance of the law is not a defence after he was fined $500 Tuesday for discarding scrap pavement on the side of a city road.
Arthur Vincent, 70, was charged under the Environmental Protection Act after the City of Corner Brook’s municipal police force investigated a complaint that Vincent had dumped a pile of asphalt alongside Mayfair Avenue.
Another resident had complained to the city police after witnessing Vincent dump about a dozen chunks of pavement in the area in broad daylight on June 6.
Vincent, who entered a guilty plea to the charge when he appeared in provincial court Tuesday, was tracked down by the police by a licence plate number the witness had provided.
The court heard the complainant had told Vincent he wasn’t allowed to do it. that Vincent disregarded the warning and drove off. Lynn Cole, the legal-aid lawyer who represented Vincent in court, told Judge Catherine Allen-Westby that her client never heard any warning uttered to him and never knew it was illegal to dump the asphalt there.
Cole said Vincent, who has never been in trouble with the law before for any other reason, would never have done what he did if he knew it was illegal and has been stressed since being charged. She added the fact the offence was committed in the middle of the day with no attempt to conceal the act showed Vincent was unaware he was illegally dumping.
Crown attorney Lori St. Croix said there is a minimum sentence for the offence, which is set at $500, and asked Allen-Westby to give Vincent a fine in that amount.