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Penticton woman avoids jail term after seeking drug rehab

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August 23, 2016 - 2:31 PM

PENTICTON - A prolific offender who pleaded guilty to a string of offences will be given an opportunity to get treatment for her drug problem, a judge ruled in Penticton court.

Ashlyn Shirelle Johnson, 24, pleaded guilty on April 25 to four counts of theft under $5,000 relating to a series of offences dating back to August 2015.

After entering her guilty pleas, Johnson was told by the judge to stay out of trouble and get into treatment or face jail time for her crimes.

Johnson was back in court Monday, Aug. 22 with new counsel to find out whether having been accepted for enrolment in a drug rehabilitation program would meet the judge’s expectations and prevent a stay in jail.

Crown Prosecutor John Swanson asked Judge Gale Sinclair for a jail sentence of between 67 and 112 days for the four offences, while defence lawyer Kathryn Lundman countered with a sentence proposal of 74 to 90 days of house arrest so her client could attend a 90-day rehabilitation program.

Lundman also presented eight letters of support which spoke to her client’s character.

Judge Sinclair sentenced Johnson to 120 days of house arrest.

“You’ll go to treatment or you’ll be spending time in jail,” he said. “You’ve got to get your drug problem under control."

Johnson will be under house arrest while she atttends the rehab facility. She also was given a no-go order to Penticton Safeway, Penticton Real Canadian Superstore, Penticton Lordco and West Kelowna Walmart. She also has court appearances in the future stemming from a number of other charges.

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