The widow of former Toronto mayor Rob Ford has avoided jail time but will serve three years of probation after she pleaded guilty a 2016 impaired driving charge.
Renata Ford was arrested on Dec. 28, 2016 at a plaza near her Etobicoke home.
She was charged with driving while impaired and having a blood alcohol reading of over 80 mg, both of which she pleaded guilty to.
Justice Ted Kelly handed her a suspended sentence on Wednesday morning which included three years’ probation, a two year driving ban and a $1,100 fine.
According to an agreed statement of facts, Ford was driving near the Humber Town Plaza on the Kingsway near Royal York Rd. at around 5:45 p.m. when she attempted to make a left hand turn into an LCBO parking lot and “rubbed up against” another vehicle.When Ford pulled into a parking spot, witnesses to the incident helped her out of her vehicle and led her to a curb.
Ford told the witnesses “she needed a cigarette” and asked them not to call police before standing up and walking into the LCBO.
The document says an LCBO store manager refused to sell her a bottle of wine. Police officers later found Ford in the passenger seat of her vehicle where “they detected an odor of an alcohol beverage” on her breath.
She then failed a breathalyzer test, prompting police to take her into custody.
Crown attorney Brady Donohue initially requested that Ford serve 45 days in jail. Addressing tha request in his judgment, Kelly said “sentencing is an inherently individualized process.”
Ford has two previous convictions, one dating back to 1997 when she refused to provide a breath sample and the other to 2005 for impaired driving. Her lawyer argued that she is now “completely free of alcohol and Valium” and has “discovered a joy for life” as a result of her sobriety.
“There is no need in the public interest to have Mrs. Ford incarcerated at all,” he told the judge.
Ford spoke briefly during the proceedings, saying “I’m truly sorry for my actions… I’m doing what I can to atone for my actions.”
As part of her requirements, Ford will report to a probation officer and complete 100 hours of community service within 18 months. She must complete an alcohol and drug addiction rehabilitation program and have an interlocking device installed on any vehicle she owns.
Ford’s late husband, Rob, was mayor of Toronto from 2010 to 2014. He died of a rare form of cancer, liposarcoma, in March of 2016. He was 46.
She made headlines again earlier this month when she filed a lawsuit against her late husband’s brother, Doug Ford, alleging that he mismanaged family assets and Rob Ford’s estate.
The lawsuit came on the cusp of a provincial election, which Doug Ford, the then leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, ultimately won on June 7.
The lawsuit claims that Ford was in breach of trust in his capacity as trustee of his late brother’s affairs. It seeks $5 million each for Renata and her two children, as well as $750,000 in punitive damages and legal costs.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
Source: CTV News