Oh Baby; Sarnia judge reduces fine after false labour

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Alex Kurial
Local Journalism Initiative

He said his wife was having labor pains – but that wasn’t enough to stop a Sarnia man from being hit with a $1,600 fine for driving with a suspended license.
Jeffery Healey get some pity from Justice Deborah Austin who reduced the fine by $400.
Sarnia Court heard Nov. 17, Healey was stopped on Blackwell Rd. in August when an officer – who knew his license was suspended – spotted him behind the wheel of a Pontiac Torrent.
Healey explained that his fiancée, who was in the passenger seat, was experiencing labor pains. They had been in Thedford for his daughter’s birthday party and he took over driving on the way home. The woman was two weeks from delivery.
It turned out she was experiencing Braxton Hicks – false labor pains. The couple has since welcomed the baby, their seventh child.
“That’s a large number of dependents… certainly a context that is not the norm these days,” Austin said during sentencing. She said Healey’s large family, and the belief his wife was about to give birth, were reasons for the reduced fine.
“There was a rather emergent circumstance that prompted you to commit the offense, and your financial circumstances are certainly impacted by the number of dependents that you have to support,” says Austin. “You meet the threshold for some relief against the totality of the financial penalty.”
Healey’s license remains suspended.