July 18, 2016 - 5:30 PM
PENTICTON - A string of drug fueled crimes dating back a year have resulted in a jail term for a Penticton woman who was sentenced in Penticton court today.
Katy Devon-Rees was sentenced today, July 18, to 105 days in jail, less 23 days for time served, after entering guilty pleas on three charges of breach, possession of stolen property over $5,000, possession of stolen property under $5,000, two counts of theft under $5,000, flight from peace officers and an assault charge.
Crown Prosecutor Kevin Foty described Devon-Rees' trouble with the law, which began with a shoplifting incident at the Kelowna Walmart last June 12, 2015. Devon-Rees set the store’s security alarm off as she tried to leave the store with $167.11 worth of unpaid goods. She was identified through a security camera video of the incident.
On July 13, 2015, Devon-Rees was arrested along with a male accomplice after being identified as being in a Chevy Silverado pickup truck reported stolen in Penticton five days before. The two were located by police a short distance from where the truck was parked near West Bench school, after the vehicle owner’s mother spotted the vehicle and called police. The oolice investigation revealed the truck appeared to have been lived in by the two. Personal effects and drug paraphanelia was found in the vehicle.
Devon-Rees was next arrested by police on Aug. 31, 2015, after leading police on a low-speed chase through Summerland and adjacent backroads in the early morning hours. Police engaged the vehicle after discovering the plates on it had been stolen from a vehicle in Naramata 10 days before. The vehicle was eventually disabled by a spike belt and Devon-Rees and a male accomplice were arrested after a chase through a nearby orchard a short time later.
Devon-Rees was also charged for breaching probation conditions by not reporting to her bail supervisor in two instances, and in one instance for associating with a co-accused she had been ordered to stay away from.
Her final misdeed occurred Oct. 24, 2015, when a loss prevention officer confronted her following a shoplifting incident at the Penticton Save-On-Foods. Facing arrest, she swung a purse at the officer, striking her in the face.
Crown Prosecutor Kevin Foty asked Judge Gregory Koturbash to consider a sentence of between 127 and 134 days for the numerous offences, while defence lawyer Clark Burnett suggested a “short, sharp sentence" of 30 to 60 days and a probation order to attend a rehabilitation program.
Burnett told court is was "abundantly clear to all of us” the biggest problem was Devon-Rees' addiction to drugs, adding several pre-sentence reports relating to his client described the tragic nature of her background.
Judge Koturbash noted the past year’s rising property crime statistics in Penticton, citing the courts’ role in controlling the accelerating rates. He also noted Devon-Rees’ troubled past, but added she needed to take responsibility for her actions.
In addition to jail time, the judge also gave Devon-Rees a 90 day conditional sentence requiring her to get residential treatment. She faces a number of conditions during that period, following which she will be on probation for another year.
“It gives me no pleasure to send you to jail,” Judge Koturbash said, adding he hoped the jail time and conditional sentence would free her of her addictions and provide her the opportunity to get her life back on track.
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