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Alcohol abuse leads to house arrest

A MAN who committed crimes because of alcohol abuse will spend a couple of months under house arrest.

Edward Joseph Flett will spend 60 days on a conditional sentence followed by one year probation after pleading guilty to one charge of break and enter and one charge of theft under $5,000.

On April 10, 2013, the loss prevention officer at Walmart saw Flett attempt to steal about $90 worth of DVDs by putting them under his jacket, judge Terence Wright told court while reviewing the evidence before sentencing.

The officer confronted Flett and got the items back, but became concerned because Flett was acting agitated so he was let go, court heard.

Police arrested Flett at his home, court heard.

On July 22, 2012, a woman reported that her neighbour's house was being broken into on Dobbie St. in Thornhill, court heard.

Police found evidence that the house and shop had been forcibly entered, court heard.

Ident officers found fingerprints that led back to Flett, court heard.

In January 2013, Fleet gave a statement to police admitting his involvement in the break-in, court heard.

It was estimated that $15,000 in items were taken from the shop and some were recovered, court heard.

Wright noted that Flett had several convictions as a youth and then none for nearly 20 years.

Overall, it's a fairly limited record,” said Wright.

Given his age, it's not a substantive record. It's troubling but not what I would call substantive.”

Break and enter is a serious offence and a significant amount of merchandise was taken, he added.

The offences were fuelled by, as is often the case, substance abuse, particularly alcohol abuse,” said Wright.

That's not an excuse but it gives the court insight into what drives someone to commit offences at the time.”

Flett has taken steps to deal with his substance abuse, including completing a well-known program and attends AA on a regular basis, Wright noted.

Conditions on his sentence include staying in the province unless he receives written permission in advance from the court or his supervisor, to not go to the victim' s residence or within 50 m of it, not to go within 50 m of Walmart and to remain inside his residence 24 hours a day seven days a week

A breach charge was stayed by the court. and a victim fine surcharge was waived.

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