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Penticton judge sends message to prolific offenders with sentencing

May 03, 2016 - 1:47 PM

PENTICTON - A Penticton judge sent a strong message to Penticton’s prolific offenders in court.

After hearing statistical evidence regarding crime rates in Penticton yesterday, May 2, Judge Gregory Koturbash agreed with Crown Prosecutor Vern Frolick’s request for an 18-month prison sentence for Jeffrey Donald James Pelly.

“The statistics clearly demonstrate a marked increase in crime in 2015-16 in Penticton,” Judge Koturbash said today, adding a strong message needs to be delivered to criminals not getting the message.

Pelly was sentenced today after entering guilty pleas in February to numerous charges, including theft under $5,000, possession of a controlled substance, breach, possession of stolen property and resisting arrest.

Pelly also caught the attention of the public and the judicial system after being apprehended for theft from a vehicle in late December 2015, within just two hours of his release on bail.

Judge Koturbash said different reasons were given for the increasing crime rate, adding the courts have a role to play in the sentences imposed. He also noted the nuisance nature of Pelly’s crimes, pointing to increasing insurance rates for property and inconvenience suffered by victims.

“It’s important to send a message to others,” he said. “I find a sentence of 18 months is appropriate.”

Pelly has been in custody since Dec. 24, 2015. With enhanced credit for time already served, he has 350 days left to serve of a sentence totalling 547 days, Judge Koturbash said, after which Pelly faces 18 months probation with conditions.

Judge Koturbash advised Pelly to work with his probation officers to get into a suitable treatment program.

“I appreciate the heavy sentence imposed on you today. Take care of yourself,” the judge said.


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