Kamloops News

Court ruling: "It's a wonderful opportunity to get your life on track"

MAN GRANTED CONDITIONAL SENTENCE TO ATTEND REHABILITATION

A 31-year-old man escaped prison today with a plan to get his life back on track.

Kamloops provincial court judge Stephen Harrison allowed a conditional sentence permitting Scott Richard Rondestvedt to go to rehabilitation in the Lower Mainland instead of sitting in a jail cell.

"It'd be very easy to put you in jail for this," Harrison said.

The sentence was a joint submission by defence lawyer Sheldon Tate and Crown prosecutor Stephen Lawhead following two crimes committed while Rondestvedt was on drugs.

He faced multiple charges today in Kamloops provincial court including two counts of being unlawfully in a dwelling-house, wilfully resisting or obstructing a peace officer, assaulting a peace officer, possessing a weapon for dangerous purpose and breach of undertaking or recognizance.

The first incident was on March 17 in New Westminster where Rondestvedt forced entry into a home in the middle of the night with a bat or stick. The homeowner secured the safety of his family before calling the police.

Rondestvedt was tasered by police after appearing to have a weapon and resisting arrest.

"It appeared that the taser had little or no effect on him," Lawhead said.

He was ultimately tasered again and taken down by police.

Police described his demeanour as paranoid, pale and agitated with enlarged pupils.

On May 18, a similar situation took place in Kamloops.

Multiple Aberdeen residents reported someone banging on their doors around 4 a.m.

Rondestvedt forced entry into two homes before police arrived on scene.

"He appeared to have a can of bear spray in his hand," Lawhead said. "There was a strong odour of methamphetamine or crack-cocaine."

Lawhead said the nature of the events were 'alarming', noting that both situations involved breaking into homes with a weapon in the middle of the night where children lived.

"It was a dangerous situation for those he was involved with and police officers who dealt with him," Lawhead said.

Tate said Rondestvedt entered a strict two-year program at the Welcome Home Society Centre to begin on Friday.

The first steps of the program involve shutting down his bank and email accounts as well as completely shutting off contact from the outside world and committing to the program.

A graduated program would give him more responsibility as he progressed over the two years.

"He's highly motivated to conquer his program," Tate said.

Harrison said most people in their 30s are penalized rather than rehabilitated, but he's lucky to have the support in place to turn it around.

"It's a very good plan," Harrison said. "It's a wonderful opportunity to get your life on track."

"I'd like to change my life," Rondestvedt said.

Rondestvedt was sentenced to one year conditional sentence for respective Kamloops-related charges and six months conditional sentence for the New Westminster-related charges to be served concurrently.

The conditional sentences order him to keep the peace, remain in B.C., report to the Welcome Home Society by 4 p.m. Friday and carry out rehabilitation unless otherwise directed by the court. He is also ordered to successfully complete the program, is prohibited from alcohol and drug use, prohibited from entering liquor stores or anywhere minors are excluded under a liquor license, may possess no weapons, and must attend counselling as directed by a conditional sentencing supervisor. He will serve 18 months probation following the conditional sentence order with similar terms. He must also provide a blood same for DNA purposes to the RCMP.

To contact a reporter for this story, email: jwallace@infotelnews.ca or call (250) 319-7494.


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