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Six months for paint gun theft

Andrew Raven
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 05/03) - A Yellowknife man who stole a paintgun from a 13-year-old boy will spend the next six months in jail.

The man pled guilty to two counts of theft Tuesday in territorial court, one for stealing the paintgun and the other for pilfering two bottles of rum from the liquor store.

"My goodness, look where he is now," said Chief Judge Michel Bourassa as he handed down a six-month sentence.

"He's reduced to stealing from the liquor store and stealing from a 13-year-old boy. Pathetic."

According to Crown attorney Loretta Colton, the 44-year-old man went to the boy's house to look at a car that was for sale.

The man went upstairs to use the bathroom and the boy reported hearing the toilet flush but did not see the man again. When the boy went back to his room, his paintgun was gone.

Roughly one month later, the man was caught trying to steal two large bottles of Bacardi Rum from the liquor store.

The man reportedly told a store employee that "he was one the good guys" and had been forced to steal the rum by a drug dealer.

The employee said the man was heavily intoxicated and while he was being detained, he broke the seal on one of the $75 bottles and tried to have a drink.

Guilty to breach

The man also pled guilty to breach of probation after he asked a female friend for money, defying a no-contact order.

The charge was presented in court for the first time Tuesday. Just as the man's lawyer was about to ask for an adjournment to review the evidence, the man raised his hand as he sat in the prisoner's box.

"I'll plead to that," he said. During sentencing, the man defended the breach by saying he had been invited over by the woman.

When Bourassa told the man the order prohibited all contact with her, he protested again.

"She asked me to house-sit. I watched (her) three dogs," said the man.

In a slow, deliberate voice Bourassa responded: "You're... not... allowed... to... be... there."

The man has roughly 46 criminal convictions on his record, dating back to 1976. His lawyer, James Brydon, said he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder caused by a turbulent childhood. The man is also addicted to crack-cocaine, said Brydon. "He has resorted to what can be charitably described as self medication."