Christmas Day thief receives suspended sentence

Three TVs were stolen from Terrace apartments so man could buy drugs

A MAN who committed three thefts Christmas Day 2011 to get money for a drug habit has been told he can kick his addiction with some hard work.

Those are some of the words from Provincial Court Judge David St. Pierre this week in sentencing Edward Joseph Flett to a suspended sentence with one year probation after he pleaded guilty to one charge of being unlawfully in a dwelling house.

On December 25, 2011, Flett had arranged to buy crack cocaine and needed money, said prosecutor Barry Zacharias in reviewing the circumstances of the case.

He had keys to suites in the Keystone apartment building that had been stolen about six months earlier and, figuring the tenants would be away, he made three trips to three apartments he knew had been rented furnished and stole the TVs from them, court heard.

He called an unidentified person who paid $300 for the TVs and then used the money to buy drugs, court heard.

The managers of the building suspected him of other crimes and, when arrested, he admitted to taking the televisions, court heard.

In March 2012, Flett had completed a healing centre program and taking that into account, Zacharias asked for a suspended sentence and 12 months probation with conditions that included writing a letter of apology and 30 hours of community work service.

Defence lawyer Timothy Klaassen said his client was going through a difficult time in December.

Flett had obtained the keys to the apartments when they had been unoccupied and he was there doing cleaning, court heard.

There was an extra key he took when he left after completing his work, said Klaassen.

Due to his addiction, he let himself in and took the TVs,” said Klaassen.

He has gone through treatment and it’s made an amazing difference in his life, according to himself and his mother.”

Flett was completely cooperative with police, provided a detailed statement, has been remorseful and apologized, said Klaassen.

I’d like to apologize. It was wrong, It’ll never happen again,” said Flett when asked by St. Pierre if he wanted to say anything.

An addiction can be difficult to break and isn’t easy but can be done,  St. Pierre told Flett.

A lot of people show up in court and have no support. Consider yourself lucky,” said St. Pierre, referring to Flett’s mother being in the courtroom.

Two charges of being unlawfully in dwelling house and one charge of theft $5,000 or under were stayed by the court.