A pair who planned a Sahali burglary knowing the resident was out of town left the victim suffering emotional and psychological trauma, provincial court heard Monday.
Judge Sheri Donegan sentenced Jason Colfield to five months in prison after the Kamloops man pleaded guilty to charges of break and enter, possession of stolen property and breach of probation. Colfield appeared in court via video from KRCC.
On May 20, an apartment dweller on Dalgliesh Drive returned home after a two-week absence to find a number of items stolen, including two gun safes, a high-definition TV, game players and a cellphone. The safes contained firearms including a 12-gauge shotgun, .22 rifle, .22 handgun and ammunition.
Police found fingerprints on a ground-level window that had been forced open, and arrested Brett Booth on May 29. Booth, who lived on the fourth floor of the same building, told police that Colfield was his accomplice in the break, enter and theft. He advised Colfield that the resident was out of town, having watched him leave with luggage and cat carriers.
Police also reviewed surveillance video from the apartment building, which showed Colfield and an unknown accomplice removing items over a period of more than three hours.
Colfield was arrested May 31 outside of the casino on Halston Avenue. Police found gloves in his front pocket, along with a flashlight, a quantity of crystal meth and a glass pipe with residue.
Charges against Booth have yet to surface in court.
The most recent matter that brought Colfield into custody occurred Aug. 22, said Crown prosecutor Mike Wong. A resident called police to report a male looking through his daughter's vehicle.
Five minutes later, police located Colfield near the residence. Colfield gave an excuse, but changed his story a couple of times. He also tried to negotiate his way out of arrest by providing information to police.
Police found bike gloves and a key to a Honda on Colfield. They located the Honda nearby and found that it had been reported stolen Aug. 14. They found Colfield's effects inside.
Crown recommended a lengthy jail term to be followed by probation with strict conditions.
Defence counsel Jeremy Jensen told court that his client, 41, had potential as a young man but his life had been derailed by an addiction to crystal meth. It's unusual for a mature adult to fall into that trap, he noted.
"It's kind of telling how addictive the drug is," Jensen said. He agreed with Crown's submission on sentencing, but argued against a curfew, suggesting that should be reserved for when there is a serious threat to public safety.
Jensen also took issue with Booth's claim, as related by the Crown lawyer, that Colfield had the greater role in the break-in. That was entirely self-serving, he said.
Donegan made a point of reading a victim impact statement filed with the court by the apartment resident. While there was a financial loss arising from the theft, the greatest impact was the emotional and psychological fallout, the victim noted. This has occasionally made him physically ill, and he still suffers depression and angst.
The judge said those are impacts court hears all too often. She acceded to the sentence recommended while noting that five months is in the low range for an offence that carries a maximum of life imprisonment. She also gave Colfield 18 months' probation with conditions including that he not enter a vehicle without the owner present and that he apologize to the break-and-enter victim.