Man at centre of tense Victoria standoff last year sentenced

Man at centre of tense Victoria standoff last year sentenced
File photo
Victoria police at a standoff at Shelbourne and Begbie Street on Sept. 4, 2019.

A Victoria man was sentenced to 10 months behind bars following a dramatic police standoff this past September.

Twenty-eight-year-old Matthew Neely appeared in provincial court Wednesday facing charges of dangerous operation of a conveyance, flight from police, and stolen property over $5,000.

On Sept. 4, 2019, Victoria police were called to the area of Shelbourne and Begbie Street just before 6:15 a.m. They responded after a report of an intoxicated man standing in the middle of the road. When police arrived on scene, Neely attempted to flee in a vehicle,  crashed into multiple parked cars including the first attending police vehicle. Nobody was injured. He then barricaded himself in a nearby home, and negotiators were at the scene for close to eight hours, attempting to speak with Neely through a megaphone. Heavily armed officers eventually moved in and arrested him.

On Wednesday, Neely pleaded guilty to all three charges and was sentenced to 10 months in jail, given a three-year driving prohibition and ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution.

The 28-year-old was also facing six separate charges from an incident that occurred while he was out on bail. On Dec. 2, 2019, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to appear in court. Later that evening, Saanich police responded to a report of a found vehicle, which was stolen earlier from Esquimalt. As police started to contain the area around the 3500 block of Shelbourne Street, a Saanich Police officer spotted a group of men leaving the area. After more officers arrived on scene, one recognized Neely who quickly fled police.

He was eventually caught and taken into custody. He was later charged with theft of a motor vehicle, possess/use stolen credit card, two counts of breach of undertaking or recognizance, willfully resisting or obstructing a peace officer and possession of a controlled substance.

On Wednesday, Neely pleaded guilty to all six charges and was sentenced to 18 months in prison. However, he was credited for four months served and will now serve a total of 24 months.

Neely is still facing another charge of breach of undertaking or recognizance. He’ll return to court on Feb. 11.

Ben NesbitBen Nesbit

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