McRobb guilty of drunk driving in Rob Ford's Caddy
LeeAnne McRobb, who met Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in rehab in Muskoka in May and was charged with driving his vehicle while impaired, speaks to the Toronto Sun in Bala on Wednesday July 9, 2014. She is holding Ford fridge magnets which she found in his vehicle and took with his permission. (Michael Peake/Toronto Sun)
The woman charged while behind the wheel of Mayor Rob Ford’s Cadillac pleaded guilty to driving with blood-alcohol readings almost three times the legal limit.
LeeAnne McRobb, 37, stood at the front of the court earlier this week and pleaded guilty to impaired driving and was fined $1,800 with a one-year driving prohibition.
Ford admitted he met McRobb at the GreeneStone rehab facility in Muskoka where they were patients and loaned her his vehicle while hers was in repair — but he didn’t know she would take it on a dangerous highway joyride.
Court heard that several witnesses called police about the SUV speeding, swerving and driving in the wrong lane along Hwy. 169 in Muskoka at around 2 p.m. May 20, 2014.
A half hour later Bracebridge OPP caught her while she was heading northbound in the southbound lane and pulled her over on Butterfly Rd. As the officer approached the vehicle he observed a slurring, drunken McRobb. A Heineken beer can was in the cup holder and several empty beer cans were in the vehicle.
“There was a strong odour of alcohol on her breath and her speech was slurred,” said Crown attorney Doug Kasko. “She was unsteady on her feet and teetering while trying to stand still.”
In court Kasko read a statement from a civilian witness who told police he was terrified as he headed home from work and suddenly saw the SUV speeding straight at him.
“It was in my lane coming right toward me,” said the civilian, who was not named. With no time to break, he blasted the horn and swerved onto the shoulder, missing the SUV by a mere 15 metres.
“This was very close to a head-on collision,” said Kasko.
Two hours later at the police station, McRobb gave a breath sample with a reading of 227 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. A half hour after that she gave another sample with a reading of 223 mg.
“That’s a lot of alcohol,” remarked Justice Glenn Krelove.
McRobb’s lawyer, Peter Ward, told the judge McRobb, who works at an area bank, has been struggling with alcohol problems for years.
“She was in attendance at a rehab facility at the time and failed, if you will, in those efforts,” said Ward. “She is now in counseling and she has been absolutely sober for 122 days and she is very proud of the fact.”
McRobb apologized to the judge.
“I’m aware of the wrongdoings I committed,” she said to Krelove. “I’m going to use this as a learning curve and not make the same mistake again.”
She promised the judge she will continue her rehab journey and attends to six to eight alcoholic anonymous meetings a week.
“I’m not going to let this set me back … I’m going to keep going forward,” McRobb said.