A provincial court judge sentenced a 15-year-old boy to 12 months probation on Friday, but questioned whether the punishment imposed will do any real good to changing his behaviour.
Judge Wayne Gorman told the boy he was not sure the sentence would work and that he had real concerns that the boy’s improved behaviour of late was based on being sentenced and not a sincere change.
The boy was convicted of two counts of breach of undertaking, three counts of break and entry into a private residence, nine counts of damage to property, theft and failure to comply with a non-custodial disposition.
In a written judgement issued following the boy’s court appearance, Gorman outlined the facts in relation to the charges which date back to October and November 2013.
On Oct. 13, the boy and another young person broke into a home in Corner Brook and he stole bottles of liquor, coins and jewelry from the residence.
On Oct. 18, he entered a parked vehicle and stole money and a can of spray paint. He then used the spray paint to paint messages on various houses and motor vehicles in the city.
On Oct. 29, he entered another private residence in the city. The boy and an accomplice pushed and kicked in the front door of the home to gain access.
On Nov. 3, he entered a private residence in Corner Brook through a bedroom window and the home owner later reported some jewelry was missing.
It was noted by Gorman that the teen did all this while bound by two court orders.
A presentence report on the boy indicates that up until recently his mother said he was difficult to parent and control. However, she told the writer of that report that since his last arrest and time spent in lockup that her son has changed. He has been more helpful at home, started attending school again and is following all of his conditions.
The report’s author recommended the boy be sentenced to a period of open custody and supervision, followed by a period of probation.
However, the Crown did not seek the imposition of a custodial sentence and took the position that the court did not have the authority to impose a custodial sentence and instead suggested a period of probation should be imposed.
Based on the Crown’s position, Gorman imposed the probation sentence.
Conditions of the boy’s sentence include that he must report to his youth court worker as required and comply with all directions of his worker, including attending all recommended counselling and treatment programs.
The boy must have no contact with anyone indicated by his worker, attend school and comply with a curfew.
He was also ordered to write letters of apology to his victims within 21 days of his sentencing and, if the victims are agreeable, deliver them in person.