Francis gives false name in attempt to avoid police
Heather Irene Francis appeared in court on July 29th by video from a jail. She was in court to be sentenced on several matters such as obstructing police, assaulting police officers, breaches of undertaking, domestic assault and driving offences. She pleaded guilty to all charges.
The details of the charges are as follows:
Sept 9, 2018: Miramichi Police Officers attended at Copping Avenue after a call a man who said he had been assaulted. Francis was arrested and while being taken into custody she punched an officer in the face, ran away on foot, and was soon apprehended.
Sept 9, 2018: police responded to a domestic disturbance. The victim had scratch marks on his face as a result of an assault by Francis.
September 9, 2018: Francis had been on a police undertaking with conditions not to go to Copping Avenue or have any contact with Kevin Allain. She breached these conditions by going there and assaulting him. They have a child together.
September 6, 2020: police responded to a call in Miramichi of one car chasing another. One driver said a woman jumped into her car and said she was being chased by a man. The woman eventually got in a car with the police and she (Francis) gave police a false name. The man in the other car showed police a picture of them together and told police they had been driving around together all night and that she was lying about being chased. Francis continued to insist on the false name and tried to get away. She pleaded guilty to obstructing police. She was later released but failed to check in weekly with police as per her undertaking, and therefore committed a breach.
May 12, 2021: Neguac RCMP got a call that medics required assistance near Chez Raymond for a woman who was believed to be injured but was uncooperative. When police arrived Francis was lying on the sidewalk injured and intoxicated. The medics were worried she might get hit by a car if allowed to go on her own. She refused to answer any questions about her injuries and warned police not to approach her as she walked backwards away from them. Police told her she to stop and then she turned and ran. They chased her, and she turned and wanted to fight. She struggled with police and resisted being cuffed. During the incident she kicked an officer. It was later learned she also had a warrant of arrest at that time.
March 18, 2021: a hit and run was reported in Burnt Church. It was reported Francis fled the scene after backing into another car. When police went to her house she ran from officers before they got to her house. She was a suspended driver at the time.
May 29, 2022: RCMP were patrolling in Burnt Church when they encountered Francis walking. They knew Francis had a warrant from 2021 so they attempted to arrest her. She denied being Francis, and told police she was Cindy Davis. She was sober and responsive and continued to deny her identity. Police wondered if they had the wrong person, and gave her the benefit of the doubt. She gave them a date of birth, but the police were unable to verify the name she gave. Police then used an older photo of her and were then convinced she was lying about her identity. She pleaded guilty to obstructing police. She has been in custody since her arrest.
The Crown was seeking a total jail sentence of 9 months less remand time (98 days), followed by 12 months of probation with conditions to follow any treatment programs and no contact with Kevin Allain unless through a third party for the purpose of child care.
Francis’s lawyer points out that Francis had a rough life with many negative experiences with police that didn’t start with allegations against Francis but with Francis acting badly because of the presence of police and her mistrust of them, as demonstrated by her trying to get away from medics and police when they came to her aid. Her lawyer said this is a known aboriginal problem and the Supreme Court urges sentences other than jail for aboriginal offenders where appropriate. The defence was seeking substantially less time in jail.
Judge Brittain gave Francis a 4 months sentence with 12 months supervised probation and a no contact order between her and the victim.