Pocketing nearly $200 worth of pre-Christmas booze at a government liquor store cost a Kamloops man five more months in jail.
Russel Brownlee pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of theft under $5,000 as well as to two counts of breaching court-ordered probation.
Prosecutor Carol Hawes recommended Brownlee serve eight months in jail in light of his criminal record. He is classified as a prolific offender by Kamloops RCMP, with 57 property offences and 10 breaches of court conditions.
On two separate occasions in December, Brownlee was caught on video camera stealing bottles of hard liquor. He worked with other people, typically by chatting, in an attempt to distract store staff.
He spent the past 20 days in custody after being arrested late last month.
Despite his record, defence lawyer Rob Bruneau noted Brownlee was sober and out of trouble for seven months before relapsing.
Provincial court judge Stella Frame said that considering Brownlee’s decades-long record of drug abuse, the seventh-month drug-free stint prior to the thefts was “impressive.”
She sentenced him to six months jail, minus the 20 days already served in custody.
“I’m really disappointed and embarrassed with my relapse,” Brownleee told Frame before he was sentenced. “The seven months was awesome. I was doing well and was proud of myself, so was my family.”