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Teen with guilty conscience gets 93 days
18-year-old pleads guilty to damaging property, driving vehicles without consent and breaking probation

Katherine Hudson
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, June 14, 2012

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE
An 18-year-old from Inuvik who confessed his misdeeds to the RCMP multiple times in February and March has been sentenced to 93 days at the correctional centre in Fort Smith.

In territorial court June 5 in Yellowknife, the youth pleaded guilty to causing mischief to a business's door, two charges of taking a vehicle without consent, one charge of committing mischief to a protective chain and two charges of breaching probation.

On Feb. 6 at about 5 a.m., the youth smashed in a glass door in the New North dome in Inuvik with an ax. Two doors were shattered, but the offender told police another man was with him and smashed the other door. He told police he was intoxicated at the time which went against the terms of a probation order he was under as of Aug. 22, 2011, restricting him from drinking alcohol.

According to Crown prosecutor Jill Andrews, damage of both doors was estimated at $1,926.

On Feb. 15 at about 1:50 a.m., the teen was the passenger in a truck owned by Chii Construction Ltd., which had reported the vehicle was stolen.

The ride in that truck came to an end when it was driven onto a guardrail and abandoned outside a residence in Inuvik. The offender went into the residence, grabbed keys to another truck belonging to the owner of the residence and got in that truck and attempted to back out of the driveway but was unable to in two-wheel drive. The owner pulled the offender out of his truck and chased him down the street.

At 2 a.m. that morning, the offender contacted the Inuvik RCMP and confessed to everything that occurred that night, as well as the incidents on Feb. 6. According to Andrews, he advised the police that he had to get "something off my chest." The damage to the Chiii Construction truck was estimated at $4,059 and the offender was intoxicated at the time again, breaking the same Aug. 22 probation order.

On March 27, the teen contacted police again and confessed to attempting to steal a snowmobile five days earlier. The youth said he tried to cut the chain attaching a snowmobile to an Inuvik property, heard someone approaching and fled.

Judge Garth Malakoe sentenced the offender to 120 days incarceration in total for the six guilty pleas, but subtracted the 27 days the youth had been held in custody, totalling 93 days at the Fort Smith Correctional Complex as well as a one-year probation order upon his release.

Defence lawyer Stephen Shabala requested the Fort Smith facility because it offers a life skills program for men.

Malakoe said the teen would be required to participate in the life skills program as well as alcohol counselling. Once released, the youth must actively continue counselling and abstain from alcohol and non-prescribed, illegal drugs. He must also offer a breath, blood or urine sample any time police request it or if his probation officer suspects he has been drinking or taking drugs.

Malakoe said the offender would not be required to pay for damages since the defence stated there was no way the youth could afford it.

Given the chance to speak, the youth said, "I'm going to try my best Hopefully start a new start."

The police have made no other arrests in any of the incidents.

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