August 22, 2016 - 5:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - A young boy who has had run-ins with the law since his parents' divorce has received a break from a Kamloops Provincial Court judge.
The 13-year-old, who cannot be named due to the Youth Justice Act, pleaded guilty today, Aug. 22, to violating his probation order.
The Kamloops teen was put on probation for a year last month for breaking into a liquor store.
The boy's parents were present in court and told Judge Christopher Cleaveley their son started acting out after they got a divorce about one year ago.
Defence lawyer Michelle Stanford told the court within a year, the teenager went from being a straight-A student and playing rep sports, to hanging out with an older crowd and "experimenting."
Both lawyers agreed jail time shouldn't be considered, but Cleaveley said it was possible.
"There's been almost a complete failure here, hasn't there?" Cleaveley asked the lawyers. "He's eligible for jail time right now."
The boy's parents told Cleaveley they were worried about prison, what he could learn in there and who he could meet.
"I wouldn't put a 13-year-old in jail," Cleaveley said.
Cleaveley handed the teenager his probation order back in July.
"I'm pretty disappointed you're back here so soon," Cleaveley said. "I gave you a break, a bit of a break."
The teenager will have to serve 25 hours of community service by the end of October, write apology letters to the victims of his first crime, and attend programs or counselling set out by his probation officer.
"You have to get home and make an effort," Cleaveley told the boy.
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