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Man faces charges after theft attempt

A MAN who allegedly tried to steal a cake has been freed on bail after spending more than five weeks in jail.

Clayton Stewart, 45, who has been charged with assaulting a police officer, theft $5,000 or under, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and wilfully resisting or obstructing a peace officer for the alleged theft of a cake from Dairy Queen on May 31 of this year, was granted bail by Judge Agnes Krantz in provincial court July 28.

“If I see you back here, you realize you’re not getting out again,” Krantz told Stewart.

“I do,” said Stewart, who appeared by video from Prince George Regional Correctional Centre. “Have a good day, your honour.”

“Normally when you steal a cake from Dairy Queen, we would not try to hold you in jail,” said prosecutor Barry Zacharias during the bail hearing. “The problem is once a peace officer announces [you’re under] arrest, he has a legal obligation to follow through with that scenario.

“In this case, the actions taken by Mr. Stewart are a concern because of officer safety and concern,” said Zacharias.

Stewart allegedly eluded a police officer at the Dairy Queen by driving away after the officer, who was on foot, tried to stop the vehicle.

There were also children in the parking lot.

Defence lawyer Andy Roth asked for Stewart’s release on bail with conditions and a surety, which is a person who will vouch for him and see that he will go to court when required.

Four previous bail hearing attempts for Stewart were rescheduled.

Roth told the court that Stewart had struggled most of his life with morphine and cocaine addictions.

“He says ‘when I’m off drugs, there’s no crime,’” said Roth.

Roth noted that his client had relatively few convictions for  breaching conditions placed on him by the court.

Stewart had work he could do if out on bail and his surety and employer would keep him out of trouble, court heard.

His client had been in jail for 38 days, which is similar to the sentence he could get if convicted on these charges, Roth told the court.

Stewart was arrested June 21 in the washroom of a provincial government office building in Terrace.

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