Man appeals unexpected driving prohibition

A B.C. Supreme Court judge set aside a driving prohibition handed to a Kamloops man in traffic court Wednesday after the Crown expressed concern about why it was imposed.

Travis Yanchuk was in traffic court in the morning, disputing a ticket for driving without due care. He was charged after a woman complained he had been following her too closely.

Yanchuk claims he wasn't driving at the time or even in the car. However, his witnesses were not available to provide him an alibi.

Justice of the peace Joan Hughes refused to grant an adjournment. The Crown's witnesses identified Yanchuk as the driver.

Hughes found him guilty. In addition to a fine, she also unexpectedly prohibited Yanchuk from driving for six months. Judges are authorized to impose different penalties if they choose.

Yanchuk quickly left the courtroom and asked duty counsel about the possibility of an appeal. That brought the matter before a B.C. Supreme Court judge within hours.

Prosecutor Stephen Lawhead said the Crown consented to having the driving prohibition set aside pending the appeal.

"I have some concerns about the prohibition," said Lawhead.

Justice Richard Blair stayed the driving prohibition imposed by Hughes, pending an appeal of the sentence and conviction.

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