“You’re old enough to know better aren’t you?” Judge W. A. Skinner scolded a 33-year-old man before sentencing him for break and enter and theft under $5,000.
Kelly Thomas O’Brien appeared in Stettler provincial court via CCTV from Fort Saskatchewan Remand Centre and pleaded guilty Aug. 23.
Crown prosecutor Blair Brandon told the court that on Jan. 25, 2018, an employee from the Village of Ferintosh caught O’Brien inside a fenced and locked area for large tanks of diesel. The lock was cut.
The employee confronted O’Brien, who then fled in a ruck. The license plate was traced by police back to O’Brien.
The crown asked for four months prison to denounce theft in rural areas.
“Considering the wave of rural property crime in Alberta it’s important to send a strong (message) to the public and show the community that the court takes this serious.”
O’Brien has been in custody since July 24. He was denied bail.
Defence lawyer Skully told the court that O’Brien is employed in the oil industry, lives in Edmonton and is a journeyman welder and a welder inspector.
Judge Skinner sentenced O’Brien to 30 days in jail saying it was more beneficial to him and society that he is out working.
“You can be a very strong contributor to society,” said Judge Skinner. “I know welding jobs are hard to come by at this point in time but you have the skill set.”