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Extra probation to aid rehab efforts for chronic offender

A Penticton judge ordered additional probation time to Jarret Browne, in order for him to complete a rehab program. Browne was sentenced after a string of drug fueled crimes in Penticton court Monday, Nov. 7, 2016.
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November 10, 2016 - 10:30 AM

PENTICTON - Hope of rehabilitation lay behind a Penticton judge’s decision to extend the probation of a man sentenced on multiple charges earlier this week.

Judge Meg Shaw extended Crown’s request for a probationary period of 12 months to 15 months for Jarret Philip Browne in Penticton court on Nov. 7 in order to allow him time under probation to complete a rehabilitation program for his drug habit.

The probation was part of Browne’s sentence on 10 charges stemming from nine incidents that began in February.

Court heard from Crown Prosecutor Andrew Vandersluys the circumstances of Browne’s charges, which included such offences as uttering threats, driving while prohibited, theft, possession of stolen property, weapons possession and breach.

On Feb. 24, 2016, members of Penticton RCMP’s Targeted Enforcement Unit spotted a vehicle whose owner was known to be involved in the local drug trade in the Safeway parking lot.

The officers watched Browne exit the store quickly with a basket of unbagged groceries in hand, get in a vehicle, get driven to the rear of the store by an accomplice, where police apprehended them.

Browne had $120 worth of unpaid groceries in the basket.

On Feb. 25 Browne breached an undertaking issued over the previous day’s shoplifting incident by failing to report to his bail officer.

On April 27, police were investigating a stolen property complaint at a Penticton address when Browne arrived on a bicycle in front of the residence the officers were at.

Browne yelled threats at one of the officers, telling him he would “slit his throat and gut him like a pig.”

The threats continued with Browne saying he wanted to "fight him in the streets" and would kill him.

Browne then rode away, but continued making threats by way of two phone calls directed at the officer over the next six hours.

On April 28, officers returned to the property after the owner discovered Browne passed out in the garage and called police.

Browne, however, fled prior to their arrival. Police found fresh graffiti on the walls with disparaging remarks regarding the police officer Browne had been threatening.

A warrant was issued and Browne was arrested.

On May 4, members of the Targeted Enforcement Unit spotted a Chevy Malibu on Green Mountain Road. The members recognized Browne as the driver and a check of the vehicle’s plates revealed it was registered to someone else. The officers stopped Browne, who was subsequently checked and found to be prohibited from driving.

On June 7, members of the Targeted Enforcement Unit were patrolling the vicinity of Fairview Road and Calgary Avenue when they spotted Browne on a bicycle with another man who was on foot. At the time, Browne was wanted on two outstanding warrants, and after making eye contact with the officers, Browne sped away on the bicycle.

Officers managed to catch up with him and he was arrested. A search of Browne revealed a club in his backpack, which was seized as a weapon.

On June 17, a check on Browne’s whereabouts at his residence revealed him to be in breach of his curfew.

Between June 23 and July 25 he breached bail conditions once again by failing to report.

On July 27 at 5 p.m., police making patrols in the Wilson Avenue area in an unmarked car saw two men exiting a driveway on bicycles. Browne was recognized as one of the men and was wanted on outstanding warrants.

Police chased Browne through nearby alleyways, where Browne lost control of his bicycle. He was arrested, and a search of his backpack revealed a pool ball with a handle attached, wrapped in hockey tape. It was seized as evidence of a weapon.

On Sept. 8 Browne was found violating curfew once again when police learned he had been at a pawnshop after his curfew.

Vandersluys noted Browne’s pre-sentence report indicated he had come from a good family, but a work injury led to drug addiction and a continuing downward spiral made worse by Browne’s negative friendships. He said a change in Browne’s associates would be essential to his rehabilitation, asking Judge Shaw for 155 days total jail time for the offences and one year’s probation.

Defence lawyer Michael Patterson said his 30-year-old client was last in court in 2005, adding none of his present charges involved violence. He said his client’s threats to the officer were never meant to be carried out, rather it was the drugs talking. He said his client had job skills and was able to work.

Browne admitted to his drug problem and said he felt shame and disgrace for what he’d done, Patterson added, requesting court to release his client on probation.

Judge Shaw noted the extensive list of charges Browne had accumulated, adding the threats to the police officer were serious and “quite inflammatory.”

“Crown has been more than reasonable with you,” she said, adding the sentence being sought by Crown was the minimum he should get.

She agreed to Crown’s submission, advising Browne to make inquiries for counselling programs and to post some job applications, bumping Browne’s probationary period to 15 months to allow him time to complete a rehab program.

With time served, Browne has 33 days remaining in custody. He must also pay $250 in fines for the Safeway theft and a $500 fine for prohibited driving, in addition to a one-year driving prohibition.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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