Judge banishes Ontario man from Prince Edward Island for two years

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Published April 3, 2019 8:13 a.m. ET
Prince Edward Island beach

CHARLOTTETOWN -- An Ontario man has been banished from Prince Edward Island for two years after committing a string of crimes on the Island.

Brian Mark Clarke, 36, was recently sentenced in Charlottetown on charges including theft, operating a motor vehicle while prohibited, flight from police and possession of stolen property.

Provincial court Judge John Douglas sentenced Clarke to time served of 90 days and a two-year probation order, including the provision that he is not to be in Prince Edward Island during the term of probation.

Crown prosecutor Jeff MacDonald confirmed this week that the total sentence was a joint recommendation between Crown and defence.

Clarke is from Kitchener, Ont.

Nicole O'Byrne, a law professor at the University of New Brunswick, says while banishing an offender from such a large area as a province is unusual, it is well within the sentencing judge's discretion to impose that term.

"While the banishment of an offender reminds one of the punishments meted out in the Middle Ages, it is within the set of sanctions that a judge might find reasonable in a particular circumstance," she said in an interview.

According to a report in the Charlottetown Guardian, Clarke apologized for his crimes, telling the court he moved to the Island in a bid to address a drug addiction.

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