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Philip Blackwood has a lengthy criminal record with a history of defying court orders, and while he can’t be punished again for his past crimes, they had to factor into sentencing on his latest offences in provincial court on Friday.
Before sentencing him to eight months in jail, Judge Wayne Gorman told Blackwood those past crimes tell a judge a fair bit, such as whether the offender has a pattern for a certain type of crime and whether or not a certain approach to sentencing in the past has worked.
In Blackwood’s case, Gorman said putting him on probation has not had the desired effect for the community or for him.
“It doesn’t seem to have helped you,” said Gorman, adding it was not clear whether it was because of lack of services or lack of interest on Blackwood’s part.
Blackwood, 20, pleaded guilty to 12 charges that span a period from June 2016 to March and include one count of fraud and five counts of theft under $5,000. He was bound by a probation order at the time of all the offences, and that netted him six more charges for breaching that order.
His most recent thefts include taking $99.94 Beats headphones from Wal-Mart and an $82 bottle of Polo Black cologne from Shoppers Drug Mart in the Millbrook Mall.
Standing alone, his crimes may not appear to be significant, but they add up after awhile, Gorman said.
Crown prosecutor Trina Simms noted in her submission on sentencing that Blackwood’s 14-page criminal record shows a smooth transition from youth to adulthood. She sought a period in jail from eight to nine months and two years’ probation.
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Blackwood sought a lesser time, eight months in jail and 12-18 months’ probation.
His lawyer, Amber Haighway, said he has significant issues with drugs — morphine and Dilaudid — and he believes that is at the root of his criminal activity.
A lesser sentence, she said, would give him the opportunity to get his life on track.
Blackwood declined to speak on his own behalf at the sentencing, and after a few minutes’ consideration Gorman said he was willing to accept the submission of his lawyer.
Along with the eight months in jail, he was sentenced to 12 months’ probation. He also has to pay victim fine surcharges of $100 for each offence and while on probation stay away from Dominion, Shoppers Drug Mart, Louis Gee’s and Wal-Mart.