October 23, 2013 - 8:58 AM
'HE CALLED IT A TAX FOR DISRESPECT'
KAMLOOPS - A former Kamloops drug enforcer and dealer turned his life around while tending horses on his sisters ranch in Chase, according to his defence lawyer.
"He's been enjoying the work, he's been working long hours," defence lawyer Sheldon Tate said. "He's learning."
Jason Wolfe, 24, was handed a conditional sentence order in B.C. Supreme Court after pleading guilty to multiple charges related to an incident last January in Kamloops.
He was expected to go to trial for charges of assault, uttering threats, extortion, unlawful confinement and robbery, but pleaded guilty to assault, theft and uttering threats. The court heard Wolfe visited a North Kamloops apartment on Jan. 27, 2012, assaulted a drug customer and forced him to pay $300.
"He called it a tax for disrespect," said Crown prosecutor Will Burrows. "Mr. Wolfe was sort of involved with the drug sub-culture."
Burrows said Wolfe also threatened and assaulted his girlfriend at the time after she called him a 'goof' — a term he considered to be extremely insulting in prison speak.
"He told her if she ever called him a goof again he'd kill her," Burrows said. "She really couldn't understand why Mr. Wolfe was so upset."
Wolfe spent around 18 months in custody, and Tate said he received serious beatings in prison. Wolfe told the courts in May he pleaded guilty for his part in a home invasion and 'kitten hostage' because he wanted out of jail. Tate said Wolfe pleaded guilty in this case for similar reasons; he was anxious about returning to prison, and has since sought counselling and family support.
Tate noted Wolfe had been unaccompanied by family in court in the past, but several family members were present today because he has regained family trust as of late. He is working at his sister's ranch in Chase, taking care of the horses, doing odd jobs, yard maintenance, construction and barn cleaning.
"We may be witnessing the diversion of a man who was destined to be frequently in front of the courts to a man his family can be proud of," Tate said.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Hope Hyslop agreed to the joint submission.
"You've taken steps towards your rehabilitation," she said. " You were a candidate for incarceration."
She warned Wolfe he could return to jail if he breaches court orders after handing him a conditional sentence order — a prison sentence to be served within the community — for two years less a day. He will serve one year of house arrest, followed by one year with a curfew from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013