A desperate need to sate his alcohol cravings pushed a previously law-abiding man down the path of crime in February of this year, and to court on Thursday, Nov. 26.
Robert Jameson appeared at Alberta Provincial Court in Stettler that day to ask for an extension for his alternate measures plan, which would allow him to go into counselling for his addictions issues. Judge G.E. Deck denied the request, citing the length of time since the arrest, so given no alternative, Jameson pleaded guilty.
The court heard that on Feb. 13, 2015, Jameson stole a 375ml bottle of Captain Morgan and a 26-ounce bottle of Crown Royal from the Sobeys Liquor Store in Stettler.
Prior to his arrest and charge of theft under $5,000, Jameson had no run-ins with the law.
In the end, Deck fined Jameson $200, plus the 30 per cent victims’ surcharge, and gave him until the end of January 2016 to pay.
When given a chance to speak, Jameson said he’s now working in Edmonton and supporting two young children — and he’d “learned a big lesson.”
Defiance of court earns man a warning from Judge
Shlomi Hazan appeared in court and pleaded guilty two a charge of assault and a charge of failing to comply with conditions, stemming from an Oct. 9 incident in the Stettler area.
On that day, Hazan was in a vehicle with his wife, who was driving, when he backhanded her. The action had him arrested for assault, and charged with violating the “be of good behaviour” aspect of his release conditions stemming from an April 23, 2015 incident in Red Deer.
Two of the charges Hazan was facing in Stettler were dropped. However, those two charges were the same as two Hazan had been convicted of in the past, being in defiance of the court, earning him a stern warning to “be careful” from Deck. If there was a next time, Hazan would not escape with a mere $500 fine, such as what he received from Deck that day.
Drugs and desperation lead to string of robberies
Stephen Harding and Nicole Littlemore appeared in court to answer to charges of theft stemming from break-and-enters and robberies at the Stettler Fas Gas, Erskine Grill and the Whistle in Mirror in early 2015.
The 24-year-old man and 26-year-old woman were in a relationship at the time and were addicted to drugs, and were living in “extreme poverty,” the court heard. As the primary caregiver for a five-year-old child and unable to financially provide, Harding turned to crime.
He and Littlemore were arrested and charged by Bashaw RCMP, and have since ended their relationship.
For Harding, it was his first time running afoul of the law, though Littlemore had been in court more than once.
Since his arrest, Harding has gone clean and is now sober, the court heard, and he regrets his actions. A pre-sentencing report was relatively positive, through Crown, defence counsel and the Judge did not refer to any element of the report specifically.
In the end, Deck sentenced both Harding and Littlemore to an 18-month probation. The two have to provide DNA for the national databank, have no contact with the victims, or each other.