PENTICTON - A man who left his backpack containing stolen credit cards and a small amount of methamphetamine in the Penticton courthouse — only to have a sheriff find them — was released from custody on time served.
Judge Gale Sinclair handed down a sentence of time served to Vaughn Stacey Baptiste, 47, who entered guilty pleas to charges of possession of a stolen credit card, breach of curfew and possession of a controlled substance in court today, March 24.
Crown prosecutor Kurt Froehlich told court Vaughn was arrested with his partner on June 29, 2016, after an off-duty Penticton RCMP officer spotted them in a Safeway self checkout using a credit card that did not belong to them to purchase a large number of groceries.
Vaughn was released on a promise to appear but arrested again for breaching curfew condition on Sept. 10, 2016, when he was caught by police on Government Street at 2 a.m. riding a bicycle “to buy milk.”
He was released on Sept. 12, but ended up behind bars once more on Feb. 27, 2017, after a Penticton courthouse sheriff investigated a backpack left unattended and found almost a gram of methamphetamine, some needles and four credit cards in various names.
Froehlich asked Judge Sinclair to consider a sentence of probation for a year for the Safeway incident, and between 75 and 90 days in jail for the breach and possession charges, noting Vaughn’s history of breaches and drug related crimes.
Defence lawyer Norm Yates said his client earned less than a $1,000 a month on a disability pension and was amenable to drug counselling, requesting a sentence of time served.
The judge agreed, noting Vaughn played only a minor role in the Safeway fraud.
Vaughn was sentenced to 45 days, allowing for enhanced credit for time served, and was released from custody. He was also given a probation for one year.
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