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Pay back theft victim before your own habits, judge says

A Summerland man was ordered to pay restitution of $160 under faster terms than what a joint submission between Crown and defence put forward in Penticton court today, Aug. 29, 2016.
August 29, 2016 - 6:30 PM

"YOU CONTINUE TO SMOKE AND WATCH CABLE TELEVISION WHILE YOUR VICTIM IS PROBABLY STRUGGLING TO LIVE, TOO"

PENTICTON - A  Summerland man has few excuses when it comes to paying restitution to his victim, a Penticton judge decided today.

Judge Gregory Koturbash said he was annoyed Kenneth Allan Robertson didn't make more of an effort to save up the money needed for restitution of his victim following the theft of her wallet last year so he increased the amount and reduced the number of installments he is to make in repaying his victim.

Crown Prosecutor John Swanson told Penticton Provincial Court today, Aug. 29, that Robertson was at a Rosedale Avenue laundromat in Summerland on Nov. 7, 2015, when he had a confrontation with an elderly woman.

Another patron in the building called police shortly after to say Robertson took the woman’s purse.

By the time police arrived, Robertson had left the laundromat. They eventually caught up to him at the Pleasant View Motel where he was arrested and searched.

Police found $430 on Robertson; the victim told police she had $600 in her wallet.

Further investigation revealed the woman’s wallet buried in some landscaping near a fence not far from the laundromat.

Video surveillance of the laundromat confirmed Robertson’s confrontation with the woman.

Swanson noted Robertson had a criminal record, but explained Robertson’s long history of medical and mental issues were the reason behind both Crown and defence seeking a 30-day conditional sentence and probation as opposed to a jail term.

Restitution of the difference in money found of $160 would also be required, in $20 monthly installments.

Defence lawyer Michael Welsh said his 55-year-old client suffered from a number of disabilities including arthritis, Hepatitis C, Attention Deficit Disorder and anxiety attacks. He called the crime one of opportunity, a “spur of the moment” impulse.

He agreed with Crown’s request for a 30-day conditional sentence, one year on probation and restitution of the money at $20 per month because his client was on disability and of limited means.

Judge Gregory Koturbash asked Robertson what he did with the money.

Robertson said he had “no recollection” that he’d spent any of it, at the same time apologizing for committing the crime.

Judge Koturbash continued to press the point, asking Robertson if he smoked or had cable television. He said he did.

His cable was part of the package in his monthly trailer rental, and he figured he smoked three packs of cigarettes a month.

“You should have known Crown would be seeking restitution but you continue to smoke and watch cable television while your victim is probably struggling to live, too,” the judge said, adding if Robertson had stopped smoking he would have had the money to pay the woman back.

Robertson was given 30 days’ house arrest, in addition to a year on probation, but must pay back the $160 in $50 monthly increments, beginning Oct.1. 


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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
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