Lukas Veit outside the Princeton court house last Thursday, before being taken into custody. Photo Andrea DeMeer

Okanagan man claims mental illness compels him to drive illegally and defy court orders

A Hedley B.C. man who claims he has a mental illness that compels him to drive illegally and disregard court orders was taken into custody last Thursday during Princeton circuit court.

Lukas Veit, 20, pleaded guilty to driving while prohibited, breach of probation, and breaching court conditions.

After a sentencing hearing was adjourned in order to allow for a psychiatric examination, Veit’s bail was revoked and he was handcuffed and led away by sheriffs.

“Mr. Veit has had an opportunity to deal with his demons and underlying issues,” said Crown attorney Nashina Devji. She called the offender a danger to the community.

“Court orders are simply insufficient to control Mr. Veit.”

In the last three years Veit has been found guilty of 15 motor vehicle offenses including three road side suspensions for impaired driving, as well as driving while prohibited, and driving without a license or insurance.

Related: Notorious Hedley driver faces a new slew of charges

Nelson Selamaj, appearing for the defense, claimed his client developed a compulsive disorder at a young age.

“He is someone who is suffering from a mental health issue,” he said. “Mr. Veit is fixated on cars, fixing them, driving them and scrapping them.”

Selamaj said Veit is also unable to put down his phone.

Judge Greg Koturbash said Selamaj argued Veit is practically “addicted to driving,” adding that some medical evidence would have to be introduced for the suggestion to have weight in sentencing.

“I think it would be of assistance to have a psychiatric or psychological report. I do find his brazenness in breaching the orders and continuing to drive to be bizarre to say the least,” said Koturbash. “I admonished him the last time and I gave him a very significant break on this matter.”

Related: Drunk driver gets hammered by judge

In October 2018 Veit pleaded guilty to several counts of driving while prohibited and one count of fleeing from police. Koturbash placed Veit under house arrest for three months, with 18 months probation that included conditions to abstain from driving.

However three times since Veit has been arrested for defying that order, and in each case was released on bail.

Thursday Veit told Koturbash that he recently moved from Hedley to the Lower Mainland, to separate himself from unhealthy associations, and was making an effort to reform.

Devji informed the court that in April Veit was arrested in Surrey for driving while prohibited. At that time he told police he was rushing his grandfather to the hospital, while officers later determined the elderly man was not in medical distress.

In granting the Crown’s application to revoke bail Koturbash said “my focus is the protection of the public…You are a couple of steps away from a Fentanyl dealer when you are out there driving hammered.”

Related: Hedley man shoots at car, then calls police

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Okanagan College Enactus chapter brings home national gold

Students are leading the way to social betterment

Sister of cancer victim cycles across Canada to raise awareness

Her journey started on May 14 and will end in early August

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: cloudy

Environment Canada is calling for a similar day tomorrow.

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to the Okanagan

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone Award Foundation charity weekend in Kelowna

Woman in hospital after being thrown off horse

She was airlifted to Kelowna General Hospital from Okanagan Falls

Marriage proposal on the big screen at Enderby drive-in

Kelowna man gets engaged in front of hundreds to Vernon sweetheart

Update: Plan to see more smoke from South Okanagan wildfire

Richter Creek wildfire, 12 kilometres west of Osoyoos, is an estimated 400 hectares

Motorcycle deaths spike 50% since 2017

Riders were most likely fatally crash on the weekends compared with the rest of the week

Family of B.C. pilot killed in Honduras trying to ‘piece together’ tragedy

Patrick Forseth has a number of friends in the area and was loved by everyone

Justin Trudeau credits immigration for Canada’s growing tech sector

Trudeau stressed that Canada has become a major source of talent for tech all over the world

Feds launch tourism strategy designed to boost sector 25 per cent by 2025

The fund is supposed to back experiences that show off Canada’s strengths

Column: A solar pioneer in the Okanagan rides among us

This Summerland octogenarian has been producing his own electrical energy for more than 20 years

Should B.C. already be implementing province-wide fire bans?

A petition is calling for B.C. Wildfire Service to issue a ban to reduce risk of human caused wildfires

Most Read