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Jail time for man who plowed tractor through neighbour's fence, threatened women

57-year-old pleaded guilty to multiple charges last week in a Sault courtroom
The Sault Ste. Marie Courthouse is seen in this file photo.

Donald Laroue drove his tractor through a Base Line neighbour's barbed wire fence, pulled out a golf club, and threatened a woman and her daughter.

The 57-year-old then told the woman he was going to harm her husband, Ontario Court Justice Melanie Dunn heard Friday.

Laroue pleaded guilty to nine charges stemming from incidents that occurred between last summer and February of this year.

He was convicted of three counts of threatening, three offences involving a firearm, as well as single charges of theft, wilful damage, and failing to attend court.

City police officers were called to a Douglas Street residence on July 14, prosecutor Chris Thompson told the court.

Laroue was visiting a couple at their apartment and "became aggressive and angry."

He took their car key and threatened to kill the man if they didn't send him $500 within an hour.

The incident with the tractor took place on Sept. 23.

On Feb. 9, police were contacted by another Base Line resident, who said Laroue was threatening him and he "believed he was in danger" because the accused had firearms in his home.

At the time, he was on an undertaking not to possess firearms and also was prohibited by a court order from having weapons.

Officers located a Winchester 140 12-gauge shotgun and a variety of ammunition in the home, Thompson said.

Defence lawyer Ken Walker said Laroue was living with his father at the time and the weapons belonged to him.

The Crown and defence jointly recommended an eight-month jail term, plus two years probation.

His client suffered a head injury a few years ago that affects his impulsivity, he told Dunn, who noted Laroue was "the victim of a very serious crime."

With the enhanced credit he received for the time he has spent in custody since his arrest, he faces a further 60 days behind bars.

During his probation, he must take any recommended counselling for substance abuse and anger management.

He can have no contact with the victims and can't possess any weapons.

As well, Dunn also imposed a 10-year weapons prohibition and ordered him to provide a DNA sample.

About the Author: Linda Richardson

Linda Richardson is a freelance journalist who has been covering Sault Ste. Marie's courts and other local news for more than 45 years.
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