PENTICTON - A Surrey man who stole a pickup in Penticton after just being released from police custody, has been sentenced to 16 months in prison.
Michael Dennis Carlston, 40, learned his fate today, Feb. 22, in Penticton court after pleading guilty to theft of a motor vehicle and driving while prohibited.
Carlston has a long list of previous offences, including 17 convictions for possession of stolen property, five for theft, seven for break and enter and eight for driving while prohibited.
He was put under surveillance by members of Penticton RCMP’s Targeted Enforcement Unit when he was released from police custody on another matter, Aug. 2, 2017, according to Crown prosecutor Nashina Devji.
Two hours later Carlston was observed by police climbing into the cab of a stolen Chevrolet pickup and he was arrested.
Devji said Carlston was prohibited from driving and was on probation.
She requested a sentence of 12 months for the truck theft and an additional nine months for driving while prohibited followed by a three-year driving prohibition.
Defence lawyer Jordan Watt said his client intended to return to Surrey upon his release where he has worked as a tattoo artist.
Watt said his client was the victim of an unfortunate, unstable upbringing where he suffered physical and sexual abuse, which led to him taking up cocaine at 15 years of age. He said Carlston had been in custody at Okanagan Correctional Centre since his arrest in August, 2017, and had taken a number of courses while in prison.
Carlston told Judge Robin Smith he was sorry for everything that happened, adding he was no longer young and couldn’t keep “living like this.”
Judge Smith noted Carlston’s “deeply entrenched” drug addiction, but added his past criminal record “loomed large” and couldn’t be ignored.
The judge sentenced Carlston to a total of 485 days, or one year and four months, in jail. With credit for enhanced time served, he has 177 days left to serve. He also faces a three-year driving prohibition upon his release.
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