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Vernon judge gives prolific thief second chance

January 23, 2019 - 6:00 PM

VERNON - A prolific offender will have a chance to get his life back on track after a Vernon judge sentenced him to time served today.

Jeremy Orr-Hall, 23, appeared in Vernon court via video today, Jan. 23, to plead guilty to charges of theft, personation with intent to gain advantage and identity theft. These charges stem from incidents in Vernon and Surrey.

The Crown noted Orr-Hall's extensive criminal record, which includes charges of theft, possession of controlled substances and robbery throughout Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Surrey.

The Crown laid out the agreed-upon facts of the charges, which centre on a probation breach last August and two separate theft incidents in Surrey and Vernon.

According to Crown, on Aug. 28, 2018, a citizen reported three people (two men and one woman) rummaging in purses in a car near a Surrey hospital. Police tracked down the car and found Orr-Hall, who was prohibited from driving at the time. Police found drugs and stolen phones and identification cards in Orr-Hall's bag as they placed him under arrest.

The Crown detailed how on Oct. 10 Orr-Hall was caught trying to shoplift electronics from a Vernon Walmart. Orr-Hall had apparently lined a bag with tinfoil so as to not set off the security alarm when he left with the items. Orr-Hall gave a fake identity to police when they arrived at the scene, but officers eventually determined his real name. They found him carrying meth pipes, and three debit and credit cards belonging to other people.

The Crown asked for two-to-three months imprisonment, noting his extensive criminal record as an aggravating factor.

Orr-Hall's lawyer noted the accused strong family support, pointing to them in the court room. He said his client is seeking help for his drug addiction problem. Orr-Hall's lawyer asked for a sentence of time served, at which point his client planned to attend a treatment facility.

Orr-Hall spoke briefly on his behalf, apologizing for his actions and expressing a desire to defeat his addiction.

"I've had non-stop struggles with drugs," he said. "I'm ready to move on with my life."

Judge Richard Hewson agreed with Orr-Hall's lawyer, sentencing the accused to 158 in prison, which was already covered by time served. Judge Hewson also sentenced Orr-Hall to two years of probation.

"He has to take responsibility and my aim is to let him do that," Judge Hewson said. "He can sink or swim."

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