A man described as being at an important juncture in his life was given the opportunity to continue on the path of sobriety and maintain employment through a somewhat unique sentence for this province.
Jason Simeon Genge, originally of Brig Bay on the Northern Peninsula, was given a four-month conditional sentence in provincial court in Corner Brook on Friday morning.
The unique thing about Genge’s sentence is that he will be subject to electronic monitoring through a bracelet equipped with a GPS (Global Positioning System) and if, necessary, one that offers radio frequency monitoring.
The GPS system will track his movements in real time and enable him to travel from this province to Alberta to work. The system Genge will use can track him anywhere there is a cellphone tower. While not working he’ll reside in Deer Lake.
He’ll also have to wear another bracelet that will monitor him for alcohol consumption once every 30 minutes.
As part of the conditional sentence order imposed by Judge Catherine Allen-Westby, Genge was to immediately register with Recovery Science Corporation. He must enter into an agreement with the Ontario company on the provision of the service. The cost of monitoring is to be paid for by Genge.
The company provides all monitoring for the system and alerts the appropriate authorities should a breach be detected. Genge’s conditional sentence supervisor will also be able to access the monitoring system should they person chose.
The province used to offer an electronic monitoring program that monitored offenders in their homes, but it was cut in April 2013.
Genge’s lawyer, Robby Ash, proposed using the electronic monitoring in a submission on sentencing on Thursday.
Genge was convicted of five charges — including a breach of a probation order from March 25, 2016, an assault and breach of a probation order from July 23, 2016 and breaches of a recognizance and a probation order from July 2, 2017.
Genge was impaired when all the incidents that resulted in the charges occurred. The assault involved throwing an empty beer bottle at a woman he was involved with.
An alcoholic, Ash said Genge has been clean and sober since July 2017 and that he recognizes alcohol as a common denominator in his offences. His record includes convictions for failing to comply with court orders.
Ash noted Genge has never committed an offence while sober.
Following his conditional sentence Genge will be subject to 18 months of probation and Allen-Westby said he must continue with the alcohol monitoring for the first two months of his probation.
She said without his commitment to sobriety and willingness to enter into the monitoring program he would have been sentenced to time at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in St. John’s.
And she was satisfied he will abide by the conditions of his sentence as the risk of detention is great enough to deter him.
Genge declined to comment on the sentence on Friday. On Thursday he told the court that in practicing sobriety he’s had to get honest with himself.
“I’ve always had this lurking notion that one day I could drink like a normal person. So there’s been periods of sobriety where I’ve been healthy and I said maybe I can pick that drink up again. I know today I can’t.”