LIGHT SENTENCE DUE TO PREGNANCY, EFFORTS TO TURN LIFE AROUND
By Jessica Wallace
A woman was handed a conditional sentence today for her involvement in a Kamloops home invasion.
Rachel G. M. Smith, 25, was given a conditional sentence served at home in B.C. Supreme Court today for two years less a day after facing charges of break and enter with intent to commit an offence, assault, uttering threats, unlawful confinement or imprisonment, use of a firearm and use of an imitation firearm.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Dev Dley was hesitant to hand out the sentence despite a joint submission by defence lawyer Don Campbell and Crown prosecutor Don Mann.
"She had part in a rather disturbing event where another person was treated much like a slave," Dley said.
Dley was forced to piece together the event using Smith's cell phone records. He said the best description of the night was that Smith took part in a plan to set up a drug dealing base at a Kamloops man's residence, threatening violence and holding him hostage.
"It is somewhat reluctantly that I am prepared to go along with the joint submission," Dley said.
Defense lawyer Don Campbell asked the court to consider that Smith has been sober for eight months and has since moved to Golden where she sought counselling and found support through her common-law partner's family. He also said Smith is pregnant with twins and due in May.
"Obviously there was some very dangerous and stupid behaviour that night," he said.
Mann said Smith's criminal record was not substantial, involving property-related offences and a series of breaches.
He said the Crown alleges Smith and her associates were involved with some drug dealing, but "there is no evidence the Crown can rely on to say she would be a danger to the public."
Mann said Smith's sobriety and pregnancy weighed on the joint submission.
"The main reason the Crown is suggesting a conditional sentence in her present state," Mann said.
Smith was sentenced to serve six months house arrest followed by a curfew for the remainder of her time, with multiple strict restrictions.
"It is in the best interests of Miss Smith, taking into account her rehabilitation, to serve a sentence in the community."
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