February 21, 2013 - 5:29 PM
By Jessica Wallace
A Kamloops prolific offender was handed a lengthy prison sentence today in order to prevent him from reoffending.
Raymond John Simpson, 35, was sentenced to 16 months in jail, nearly three times the sentence he would have faced if his criminal record weren't so long.
"Denunciation and deterrence are of primary importance," said Justice Stephen Harrison. "Mr. Simpson has a remarkable collection of criminal convictions."
Simpson, who works in the trades in Kamloops, has been convicted some 73 times since 1995 including 43 property-related offences, 22 court order breaches, as well as one conviction for both violence and drug trafficking.
While serving a four-month sentence for credit card fraud he was sentenced to on Feb. 1, he faced sentencing again today for several charges after someone reported him carrying a shotgun last fall.
RCMP found the shotgun, several rounds of shotgun ammunition and six grams of heroin valued at over $1,000 on Simpson on Oct. 31,2012 breaching a lifetime ban on firearms and prohibition of drugs.
Simpson pled guilty to charges of possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a controlled substance and multiple court-ordered breaches.
Given Simpson's criminal history, Crown prosecutor Neil Flanagan was unsatisfied with the six-month maximum sentence typically handed out for Simpson's most recent charges.
He asked Harrison to consider Simpson's record.
"When Mr. Simpson is not in custody, he is is out of custody and committing offences," Flanagan said. "Sentences of three, four, six and nine months, they just don't work."
Flanagan said Simpson's drug use fuels his tendencies to reoffend, with many of his convictions property-related. He said Simpson needed a significant amount of time off the streets to be rehabilitated and requested a sentence of 18 months for the severity of his history.
"The record does reflect his very active participation in the drug world," Flanagan said.
However defence lawyer Sheldon Tate argued the sentence was too long for multiple charges occurring during the same incident.
"I believe they're all maximum six-month sentences," Tate said. "It is not possible in law to get to the 18 months that the Crown suggests in the manner in which the Crown suggests."
Flanagan cited precedence where the maximum sentences were exceeded in two extreme cases.
"A sentence of this length might be effective. It might accomplish something," Flanagan said. "(Simpson) should be shown absolutely no lenience."
Tate also argued that despite the length of Simpson's record, most charges were given low sentences.
Simpson asked Harrison to consider the nature of the history rather than the length of his convictions.
"I've never violated that weapons ban. I'm not a weapons guy," he said. "I'm a very positive, happy person. I'm not a violent man."
He also alleged he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, delivering the unarmed shotgun to a friend for a Halloween display.
"I was asked to bring it into the house," he said.
Harrison sided with the Crown, surpassing the typical maximum sentencing.
"This is a serious matter," Harrison said.
Simpson will serve the sentence consecutively following his current sentence.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013