A 24-year-old man caught lying to police in the hopes they wouldn’t notice the warrants out for his arrest was sentenced to time served this week.
Tyler Justin Smith pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing a police officer after admitting he gave a false name.
Smith was in a car that was pulled over on Nov. 10, 2008 because it matched the description of a vehicle seen leaving the Wal-Mart parking lot following the theft of a large television.
Smith was not charged with that theft, but when the officer asked him for his name, Smith gave a false one.
At the time there were warrants out for his arrest. The deception only held until Smith was fingerprinted and his real identity surfaced.
Smith did not attend an earlier court appearance, but was arrested on May 22. With two-for-one credit for that time, he had already served the 30 days Judge Jeanne Burch deemed appropriate.
Two days after his release a young St. Albert man was re-arrested and was released again after entering a guilty plea to another petty theft.
Christopher Young — who pleaded guilty last week to a host of criminal offences and received a sentence of the 208 days time served — pleaded guilty again this week to new charges.
Young pleaded guilty to shoplifting and breaching his probation and was handed a concurrent term of probation on top of the one he is already serving.
When Young appeared by teleconference Monday, Judge Jeanne Burch recognized him and asked him simply, “What went wrong?”
Young explained that after being released on June 3 he lined up a job interview, but did not want to go in the clothes he had, which were old and dirty.
He said he borrowed a pair of pants from a friend, but needed a belt and clean shirt and went to The Bay at St. Albert Centre and attempted to shoplift the items.
Ordinarily, after an accused person enters their guilty plea the Crown prosecutor reads in a version of events, but Crown William Wister said Young summarized the incident perfectly. Wister added that, when he was caught by store security, he co-operated fully and continued to co-operate when police arrived.
Young’s year long crime-spree that began last summer has been punctuated with a host of minor offences of vandalism. His most serious crime was arson to a garage in the Sturgeon neighbourhood, where he acted as a lookout while the blaze was set.
Wister, seizing on Young’s criminality within days of being released, asked for a four-month jail term, but Burch did not believe that would do anything to solve his problems.
“This is a person who society has acknowledged needs supports. I don’t think just opening the door of the remand centre and throwing him in will do anything.”
Burch said that would do nothing to address Young’s bigger problems.
“That’s just a solution to keep him out of sight and out of mind for a while.”
Young said he had been waiting for a social assistance cheque prior to committing the shoplifting offence, but when he was immediately released he had no money.
Burch imposed a nine-month probation term on June 1. She directed this time that he see probation immediately upon his release from jail so they can guide him to the supports he needs.
A 26-year-old man was denied a conditional discharge after admitting to his part in a bizarre theft.
Tri Tru Tran pleaded guilty on June 1 to one count of theft and was sentenced to three months probation.
Tran, who has no criminal record or any history of runs-ins with police, went into the Wal-Mart store on March 29. A loss prevention officer saw him collect a number of items from store shelves.
He went to the checkout and paid for about $90 worth of items. Hidden underneath those items were another $547 worth of goods.
When confronted by the store security officer he was co-operative, which continued when police arrived a short while later.
Tran sought a conditional discharge for the offence so he could avoid a criminal record if he followed certain conditions.
Judge Jeanne Burch denied that request and said she was not convinced Tran should not suffer the burden of a criminal record.
“I am not satisfied that this is the type of offence that ought to be discharged of.”
Burch instead chose to sentence Tran to three months of probation as part of a suspended sentence.
The only conditions Burch imposed were that he report to the probation office and attend any counselling the officer recommends. She specifically cited anti-shoplifting programs as a possible good fit.
If Tran fails to live up to those conditions the suspended sentence allows Burch to revisit it.