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Goldring takes the stand in his trial
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Friday, January 18, 2013 12:42PM MST
Last Updated Friday, January 18, 2013 6:27PM MST
Member of Parliament Peter Goldring took the stand in his own defence Friday in an Edmonton courtroom – where he denied that he outright refused to give a breath sample in Dec. 2011.
In his testimony, the Edmonton-east MP said he was uncomfortable giving a breath sample, because he had just consumed a beer – however, he said he never actually refused to give a breath sample, and was still deciding when officers arrested him.
Goldring said on the stand that on the night he was pulled over and arrested, he had had up to two glasses of wine at a function, and then one beer at a north-side bar while he waited for his car to warm up.
He was then pulled over as he left the parking lot.
After police stopped him, he said he didn’t lock himself in his car on purpose – as his arresting officer stated in his testimony.
His lawyer Dino Bottos asked his client on the stand about the moment he was arrested:
“Had you decided to refuse [to give a breath sample] at this time?” Bottos asked.
Goldring answered: “No, I’m still trying to decide what are my options here.”
“It’s kind of tough not being able to say what happened, and then everything else is conjured up in people’s minds because you’re not able to say,” Goldring said after Friday’s court proceedings. “You can see by the testimony today, that there’s very specific reasons, very good reasons why we’re standing here today, and why we’re continuing with this.”
The defence lawyer’s argument is based on alleged mistakes made by police that violated Goldring’s Charter Rights.
“When he was pulled over he was immediately arrested, prematurely arrested, and should have been accorded his charter of rights to council right at that time, and from that point forward they should not have proceeded with any further testing, or attempts to test,” Bottos said outside of the law courts Friday evening.
The day in court started with testimony from a second police officer.
Sergeant Conrad Moschansky testified Friday morning in an Edmonton courtroom, and said he was called to the scene by the officer who pulled the MP over the night of Dec. 4, 2011.
Sgt. Moschansky described Goldring as ‘blunt and direct’ in his testimony – and said Goldring wouldn’t respond to requests to provide a breath sample.
He testified: “Mr. Goldring turned and asked ‘How can you just stop me for no reason?’” Moschansky said on the stand.
“He says to me ‘What gives you the right to ask me to blow?’” The officer said, referring to the breathalyzer test.
The officer then went on to say Goldring admitted to drinking a beer at a north end bar – and to attending a function earlier that night.
Moschansky testified: “I asked him, ‘did you drink at the function?’” The officer went on to say: “He said, of course I did, who doesn’t?”
Both Moschansky and Cst. Trevor Shelrud had each testified that Goldring was arrested after the traffic stop had lasted nearly half an hour, and at the time, they were satisfied the MP was not going to give a breath sample.
Goldring pleaded not guilty to the charge of refusing to provide a breath sample.
The case has been scheduled for further arguments on April 16.
With files from Bill Fortier
Conservative MP Peter Goldring stands during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in this Nov. 21, 2011 file photo. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)