Penticton News

Judge looks into monitoring bracelet for Princeton man who continues harassing behaviour

A Penticton judge is seeking to find out if electronic monitoring can be used to keep tabs on a Princeton man with a history of harassing behaviour.

PENTICTON - A man well known to Princeton RCMP for criminal harassment appeared in Penticton court Friday, facing sentencing on further charges.

Kevin Fredrick Lynch entered guilty pleas to charges of criminal harassment, and two breaches today, March 17.

Crown Prosecutor Andrew Vandersluys told court Lynch was given an intermittent sentence and a probation order after entering guilty pleas to breaching probation on Oct. 21, 2015.

The same day, while at the probation office, Lynch made a threatening phone call to two Princeton victims who he was under court order not to contact.

On Oct. 23, Princeton RCMP attended the victims' residence where they heard and saw threatening voice mails and text messages from Lynch.

Lynch continued to drive by the residence, and sent threatening text messages and voice mails that included statements such as, “I’m never going to quit pursuing... I’m just not, so we can just learn to live with each other,” and another that said, “I won’t kill you, but I’ll make you such a burden that you will move on, in a wheelchair full time with a colostomy bag.”

Lynch was arrested again, shortly after a string of threats, on Oct. 29, 2015.

He came before Judge Koturbash in September 2016, for what was to be a two-day trial, but instead entered guilty pleas to criminal harassment.

Crown agreed to his release after being in custody nearly a year.

“There was the hope that time in custody would have been sufficient to mature him,” Vandersluys said.

He was released pending preparation of a pre-sentence report with a psychological component, on conditions not to contact his victim or come within a 50 kilometre radius of Princeton.

On Sept. 10, Lynch called the Princeton detachment, leaving messages telling officers he was going to Princeton to retrieve personal belongings, something he was allowed to do only under police escort.

He was seen later that day in the community by an off duty officer, as Lynch was well known to Princeton police.

Princeton RCMP were notified and went to Lynch’s mother’s residence where they found Lynch, arrested and later released him.

Also on Sept 10, Penticton RCMP checked Lynch’s stated place of residence on Penticton’s Paris Street to check his curfew only to find his name was unknown to the residence owner.

He failed to report to probation officers on Sept. 13 and was arrested again on Sept. 14.

He has remained in jail since that date.

Vandersluys noted Lynch’s history of criminal harassment in Princeton, dating back to 2002. He said Lynch’s pre-sentence and psychiatric report indicated his intent to return to Princeton, calling it “a huge concern.”

He said a report submitted by case worker Dr. Sunnette Lessing described Lynch as, “angry, obsessed, irrational and unrepentant.”

A risk assessment indicated without external controls Lynch was highly likely to reoffend in the same manner, with all of the risk factors related to stalking.

Vandersluys said Lynch had an anti-social lifestyle, noting Lessing's comment of his having a lifelong pattern of disregard for norms.

He added it was likely Lynch would return to Princeton because he has nowhere else to live but with his mother.

Vandersluys said Lynch does not work and is addicted to heroin and marijuana.

He asked Judge Gregory Koturbash to consider a sentence of two years and four months, as well as three years’ probation and a banishment clause from Princeton.

Defence lawyer Michael Newcombe noted the “grim picture painted” by Crown. He said his client has been in jail for 501 days for his crimes, the longest period he has ever been incarcerated, adding Lynch has realized the error of his ways.

Newcombe said Lynch now realized his behaviour was “killing his mother,” and that he admitted he gave the police in Princeton a hard time.

He said his client had been told by someone he didn’t know very well he could stay at the Paris Street address, only to be told later that because of the police presence that would accompany him, he would not be allowed to live there.

He spent the night in Penticton and with nowhere else to go, went to his mother’s place.

Newcombe said his client called police to let them know, and did not call his victim while in the community.

He asked the judge to consider a sentence of time served, with enhanced credit for time served.

Lynch told the judge he felt “nothing but remorse” for his actions, saying he has started doing things he should have done months ago.

“I accept responsibility for my actions,” he said.

Judge Koturbash pondered the possibility of a bracelet to electronically monitor Lynch’s movements.

“I think every stone needs to be turned over to try to find a way to ensure these victims remain protected,” he said, adding to release Lynch to a situation where he is homeless would be a “recipe for disaster.”

The judge adjourned the matter for three to four weeks to allow time for the court to explore the option of an electronic monitoring bracelet for Lynch.

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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