Lukas Veit outside the Princeton court house last Thursday, before being taken into custody. Photo Andrea DeMeer

Okanagan man claims mental illness compels him to drive illegally and defy court orders

A Hedley B.C. man who claims he has a mental illness that compels him to drive illegally and disregard court orders was taken into custody last Thursday during Princeton circuit court.

Lukas Veit, 20, pleaded guilty to driving while prohibited, breach of probation, and breaching court conditions.

After a sentencing hearing was adjourned in order to allow for a psychiatric examination, Veit’s bail was revoked and he was handcuffed and led away by sheriffs.

“Mr. Veit has had an opportunity to deal with his demons and underlying issues,” said Crown attorney Nashina Devji. She called the offender a danger to the community.

“Court orders are simply insufficient to control Mr. Veit.”

In the last three years Veit has been found guilty of 15 motor vehicle offenses including three road side suspensions for impaired driving, as well as driving while prohibited, and driving without a license or insurance.

Related: Notorious Hedley driver faces a new slew of charges

Nelson Selamaj, appearing for the defense, claimed his client developed a compulsive disorder at a young age.

“He is someone who is suffering from a mental health issue,” he said. “Mr. Veit is fixated on cars, fixing them, driving them and scrapping them.”

Selamaj said Veit is also unable to put down his phone.

Judge Greg Koturbash said Selamaj argued Veit is practically “addicted to driving,” adding that some medical evidence would have to be introduced for the suggestion to have weight in sentencing.

“I think it would be of assistance to have a psychiatric or psychological report. I do find his brazenness in breaching the orders and continuing to drive to be bizarre to say the least,” said Koturbash. “I admonished him the last time and I gave him a very significant break on this matter.”

Related: Drunk driver gets hammered by judge

In October 2018 Veit pleaded guilty to several counts of driving while prohibited and one count of fleeing from police. Koturbash placed Veit under house arrest for three months, with 18 months probation that included conditions to abstain from driving.

However three times since Veit has been arrested for defying that order, and in each case was released on bail.

Thursday Veit told Koturbash that he recently moved from Hedley to the Lower Mainland, to separate himself from unhealthy associations, and was making an effort to reform.

Devji informed the court that in April Veit was arrested in Surrey for driving while prohibited. At that time he told police he was rushing his grandfather to the hospital, while officers later determined the elderly man was not in medical distress.

In granting the Crown’s application to revoke bail Koturbash said “my focus is the protection of the public…You are a couple of steps away from a Fentanyl dealer when you are out there driving hammered.”

Related: Hedley man shoots at car, then calls police

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Man accused in Salmon Arm 7-Eleven fire sentenced for bail breach

Sentencing for arson to take place later this month in BC Supreme Court

COVID-19: Salmon Arm city hall, law courts open gradually as restrictions ease

City staff to remain behind glass, court registry expected to open doors July 13

Speedboat driver sentenced in fatal Shuswap houseboat collision granted day parole

Leon Reinbrecht began serving a three-year sentence in a federal prison in January 2019

New charging station part of South Shuswap Transportation Society roadmap

Director’s Notes by CSRD Electoral Area E Director Paul Demenok

Sicamous to receive $6 million for construction of Shuswap Healing Centre

Federal/provincial infrastructure funding also announced for Chase pedestrian bridge

84-year-old Okanagan resident finishes 12,000-piece puzzle

Willie Tribiger started the puzzle in 2013, completing it in six and a half years

Aces aplenty at Okanagan golf course

Vernon Golf and Country Club has 14 recorded holes-in-one since April 30

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

Booze on beach extended through summer in Penticton

Pilot project will stay in place until Oct. 15

Sad ending in case of missing Okanagan senior

Body of Vernon man Wayne Orser found floating in Okanagan Lake Tuesday, July 7

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Most Read