Homeless Penticton man receives fine rather than jail time
November 21, 2016 - 5:30 PM
PENTICTON - A Penticton homeless man will not go to jail for breaching probation after pleading guilty to the offence in Penticton court this morning.
Crown prosecutor Vern Frolick told Judge Gale Sinclair today, Nov. 21, James Dean Matthew was serving a 12 months probation for theft under $5,000 last May 31 when he failed to report to his probation officer.
He failed to report again on June 9, resulting in a call from his probation officer which he did not return. A letter was sent on June 28 asking him to attend the probation office, which he failed to do.
Frolick asked the judge for a jail sentence of between seven and 14 days.
Matthew, acting in his own defence, told Judge Sinclair he failed to get any of the messages sent to him as he had no cell phone and was homeless at the time. Calling the situation his own fault he said he wanted to deal with the matter.
When Judge Sinclair asked Matthew what he thought of the Crown’s position, he said, “I’ll leave it up to you, your Honour. You’ve done this more than I.”
He said he was unable to work and was on a medical disability pension.
“My mother has just lost her place so I need to help her,” he said.
Sinclair handed Matthew a $250 fine to be paid by May 31, 2017.
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