Jailed man with lengthy criminal record loses appeal to go to treatment centre | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Jailed man with lengthy criminal record loses appeal to go to treatment centre

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November 22, 2016 - 8:00 PM

NORTH OKANAGAN - A man with a serious drug addiction who claims he is not receiving any help in jail has lost his appeal to serve a shorter sentence with time at a treatment centre.

Jeremy Allen Yakobchuk, who is in his mid-30s, was sentenced to 21 months in a provincial jail for a pair of offences involving a stolen vehicle and possession of a stolen bicycle in Salmon Arm.

During sentencing, he specifically asked to serve his sentence in a provincial institution because he thought he would get better help for his drug addiction there rather than in the federal system.

But in an appeal heard Nov. 10 in the Vancouver Court of Appeal, Yakobchuk said he has received no treatment in jail. He asked the court to reduce his 21-month sentence to 15 months, with six months in a treatment centre. He argued the sentence imposed was unduly harsh because he has not received any treatment.

Yakobchuk has an extensive criminal record including 84 youth and adult convictions for property offences, crimes of violence, and crimes of dishonesty, among others, according to a written judgement from the court of appeal.

During his sentence hearing, Yakobchuk expressed remorse for the stolen vehicle and bicycle, and emphasized his hope of accessing addictions programs in jail, Justice Harris said.

“Of particular note was Mr. Yakobchuk’s recognition that he was at a crossroads in his life, and that he needed to take the opportunity to deal with his addiction issues; otherwise, he could expect lengthier sentences for any future offences,” Harris said.

The sentencing judge respected Yakobchuk’s preference to serve his term in a provincial jail.

The court of appeal ruled the sentence was not unduly harsh and dismissed Yakobchuk’s appeal.

“Certainly, (the sentences) gave meaningful recognition to Mr. Yakobchuk’s desire to take advantage of treatment programs in the provincial system which it appeared would be available to him. The sentence was intended to offer a real opportunity for Mr. Yakobchuk to turn his life around,” Harris said.

There was no explanation offered in the judgement as to why Yakobchuk has not received any treatment services in jail.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 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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