Identity thief granted 'last chance' bail

A 44-year-old Peachland man charged with identity theft, fraud, and driving while suspended, was granted bail by a judge in a Kelowna courtroom Tuesday afternoon.

Back in June of 2016, 44-year-old Chet Alexander Severn allegedly had a driver's license and BC services card made for him at a Kelowna license bureau, using the identity of another man by the name of Chadwick James.

Severn was later arrested on October 11th, 2017, after being pulled over by an RCMP officer for driving erratically.

In his statement to the court, the officer stated that he could tell something wasn't right when looking at the piece of ID produced by Severn, and proceeded to ask him several questions, most of which Severn managed to answer as if he actually was Chadwick James. 

When Severn got the birthdate wrong, the officer cuffed and searched him, along with the vehicle, coming up with false pieces of ID, as well as drugs and needles.

After taking Severn into custody and getting his fingerprints, Severn, was asked if he knew who Chet Severn was. In response, he said that he was a relative, before being told by RCMP that they had figured out who he actually was.

Severn was released from police custody shortly afterwards on a set of strict conditions, including a curfew, but it wasn't long before he ended up breaching them.

On February 11th, 2018, and RCMP officer conducted a routine check at Severn’s Peachland residence. He was not there, which meant he was in violation of his probation.

Hours later, RCMP tracked down and pulled Severn over once again. During his arrest, a police search found 12 stolen drivers licenses in Severn's vehicle.

Since that arrest, Severn remained in police custody until Tuesday, April 3rd.

During a bail hearing Tuesday afternoon, in which Severn appeared via video conference, the Crown insisted that he should not get bail due to "blatant and repeated disregard for the law."

The defence council argued that his client wanted to be out of custody to see his mother, who was dying of terminal cancer, and to attend an upcoming job interview.

The judge agreed to release Severn on a very strict set of conditions, including:

-Obeying curfew at all times.

-Check in with bail supervisor and appear in court when required.

-Have no communication with Chadwick James, or anyone whose license Severn had in his possession at the time of his latest arrest.

The judge made it clear that if he broke any more conditions, it would result in another arrest.

Chet Severn's criminal record dates back to 1996, with offences including assault, theft, and identity theft, as well as 12 counts of driving while suspended since 2003.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday, April 17th, at 1:30 PM in Kelowna.