A man now living in Barriere with no criminal record will go to jail for breaking into the home of an elderly woman.
Judge Hermann Rohrmoser sentenced Curtis Martin to six months in jail and a year probation for breaking and entering into an Overlander Drive home on March 11 this year.
The homeowner, in her late 70s and living alone, awoke in the early morning hours to the sound of her doorbell. She got up but didn't turn on her lights, said prosecutor Carole Hawes.
Meanwhile Martin went to a deck at the rear of the house, where he tried and failed to jimmy open the door. Frustrated, he then smashed the glass door open and got inside.
The homeowner bolted next door with her cordless phone, calling 911.
When police arrived they found Martin on the back deck. In his pocket and backpack was $8,000 in jewelry. Also stolen was a laptop computer.
Defence lawyer Don Campbell argued Martin should serve a conditional sentence at home. The 35-year-old man is taking care of his common-law wife, who is in a wheelchair and in failing health. He also wanted to work so he could pay costs of his damage to the home.
In an earlier incident, Martin also smashed out windows in a late-night incident outside a Vernon bar. He pleaded guilty to mischief.
Since then he attended a treatment centre and has not drank or taken drugs, Campbell said.
Hawes argued for a six-month jail term.
"In my view, six months is approaching the minimum, not the maximum," Rohrmoser said in his decision.
The homeowner was terrorized by the incident, no longer feeling safe at her home. Rohrmoser said the sentence could have been 18 months.
"This will cause hardship to his common-law wife, which is regrettable," Rohrmoser said.
After he was sentenced to jail, Martin looked back several times at his wife. She wept quietly while he was led off in custody by a sheriff.
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