A crew worked to remove a pickup truck stolen by Michael Hasell that was crashed into blackberry bushes on an embankment off Prest Road south of Highway 1 in Chilliwack on July 17, 2018. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress file)

Judge gives 16 months jail for Abbotsford vehicle theft, flight from police, Chilliwack crash

Michael Joseph Hasell has more than four dozen criminal convictions in B.C. and Alberta

A local prolific offender who stole a truck and trailer in Abbotsford, fled police and crashed off an embankment at the Prest Road exit of Highway 1 in Chilliwack last summer was sentenced to 16 months more in jail in court on Thursday.

Michael Joseph Hasell, a prolific offender with four dozen convictions to his name, was charged with motor vehicle theft in Abbotsford, possession of stolen property over $5,000 and flight from peace officer in Chilliwack.

Michael Joseph Hasell

He pleaded guilty to the theft and the flight, and attended in a wheelchair at a sentencing hearing on April 17. Apparently, prior to the truck theft, he stole a motorized scooter in Chilliwack, crashed it and broke both his legs.

At that hearing two months ago, Crown counsel Henry Waldock outlined a chronology of behaviour that culminated in the truck theft and the crash that occurred near a pedestrian.

• READ MORE: One in custody after dramatic Abbotsford vehicle theft ends with rollover in Chilliwack

“Mr. Hasell has proved himself to be dangerous and unmanageable in the community,” Waldock said, pointing to him leaving a recovery house just one day after checking in last year before stealing the truck.

Also, two months before the vehicle theft, Hasell was in a black Ford Mustang on Fletcher Street outside a drug house when another prolific offender and drug dealer, Corey Richard Emery, came out and shot at the Mustang with a pellet gun.

(Unrelated to this, Emery was scheduled to plead guilty in BC Supreme Court on June 20 to four counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking from Oct. 18, 2018.)

• READ MORE: Chilliwack man charged after shooting at car outside house under surveillance

After the Prest Road crash, a witness said he saw the truck and trailer roll into the dense blackberry bushes on the embankment on the east side of Prest south of the highway. The witness told The Progress at the scene that he went to help when he saw a man, Hasell, emerge from the bushes.

That’s when a huge police presence descended on the scene, some officers with guns drawn.

Waldock asked Judge Richard Browning for 12 months each for the vehicle theft and the fleeing from police to run consecutively. He also asked the court for three months jail for the scooter theft, and three more months for a breach for a total of 30 months jail.

In court on June 20, Browning sentenced Hasell to 16 months of new jail time for the flight from police and 12 months for the theft to run concurrently. He will then be on probation for three years. He also faces a three-year driving prohibition under the criminal code and a six-year ban under the Motor Vehicle Act.

Hasell was also in court June 20 to be sentenced for a possession of stolen property charge from April 22, 2018 in Chilliwack, and a breach from April 10, 2018 connected to a 2017 peace officer assault/escape from lawful custody conviction.

Hasell has an extensive record with now more than 47 criminal convictions in B.C. and Alberta.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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