Conditional sentence for Penticton woman suffering from drug and mental health issues

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PENTICTON - A woman described as having been through a number of difficulties in her life by a Penticton judge will serve a conditional sentence after pleading guilty to theft, fraud and breach charges.

In issuing the sentence, Judge Gale Sinclair noted his familiarity with the accused, calling her issues “mental illness exacerbated by street drugs.”

Crown Prosecutor Andrew Vandersluys told court Faith Jilane King was caught by the loss prevention officer at the Great Canadian Superstore in Penticton on Dec. 13, 2014, as she tried to leave the store with two packages of strip loin steaks and a Sony blue-ray DVD player.

By the time police arrived, King had fled, but the loss prevention officer had retained King’s backpack, which contained the $151.38 worth of goods. Police were able to identify King through the store’s video surveillance footage.

On Jan. 29, 2015, Osoyoos police were notified after King attempted to cash a cheque which didn’t belong to her. The cheque, made out to the amount of $1,875, had the original recipient’s name and address altered. A teller at one of the two banks King attempted to cash the cheque at seized it. Police were able to identify King once again through video surveillance footage.

King was not arrested until she was identified by a Penticton RCMP officer who spotted her as she was entering a Calgary Avenue residence on June 23, 2016. A search of her purse at the time revealed a small quantity of methamphetamine and heroin as well as a digital scale with meth residue on it, which was a breach of King’s conditions.

She was released on a promise to appear.

Vandersluys noted King’s prior record of breaches and property offences, noting a pre-sentence report identified the woman as dealing with anti-social personality disorder. He asked Judge Gale Sinclair to consider a sentence of three to four months jail for the cheque fraud, 21 days jail for the Superstore theft, and 45 days jail for breaching conditions.

Defence lawyer Kathryn Lundman said her client was currently on methadone, which King admitted was “better than being on drugs.” Lundman said her client had recently successfully served a house arrest sentence, asking the judge for a six month conditional sentence.

Judge Sinclair said he was satisfied King did not represent a danger to the community, sentencing her to six months’ house arrest followed by one year of probation.

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