No more jail time for Salmon Arm 7-Eleven arsonist | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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No more jail time for Salmon Arm 7-Eleven arsonist

A man who drove his car into a Salmon Arm 7-Eleven and set both on fire two years ago will not be serving any more time behind bars.

Kenneth Robert Laforge, 34, was facing charges of mischief under $5,000, arson in relation to inhabited property and arson damaging property related to an incident on Aug. 24, 2018.

On that day, Laforge left his home in Blind Bay and purchased a jerry can filled with gasoline before driving to a 7-Eleven convenience store in Salmon Arm.

Video surveillance showed Laforge parked in front of the store, went inside and told the occupants of the building to leave. Once he was sure everyone was out of the 7-Eleven, he drove his car into the front window, dumped the jerry can of gas in the interior of his car before setting it on fire around 1:45 p.m.

READ MORE: Arsonist claims CIA made him crash into, set fire to Salmon Arm 7-Eleven

When police arrived, Laforge let officers know that he was responsible and cooperated with his arrest.

Laforge, who was previously diagnosed with schizophrenia, believed his actions would bring light to what he believed was a Canadian Security Intelligence Service investigation against him, among other theories.

Supreme Court Justice Leonard Marchand said he did not agree with the joint submission from the Crown and the defense, and that it exceeded what he considered appropriate.

The joint submission was time served plus three years probation with a curfew, which would prohibit Laforge from being outside his home from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. for three years. The Crown also asked for restitution for the victims.

Justice Marchand took several mitigating factors into consideration for sentencing, including Laforge’s Metis heritage, childhood trauma, and mental health and addiction issues.

He added Laforge has issued apologies to all victims impacted by the incident and has cooperated fully since his arrest.

READ MORE: Arsonist 'ashamed' after hearing impact of crime on Salmon Arm 7-11 employee

Laforge was sentenced to time served and three years probation with six months under curfew. He already has a credit of 548 days served. 

He will also have to pay restitution of $290 for damaged personal property to the victims.

The court heard that Laforge will be pursuing treatment for his mental health and addiction issues.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 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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