Man sentenced for Terrace, BC break and enter

Court hears that man is also trying to get his life back on track

ALTHOUGH A man missed two of his dates with his probation officer, the fact that he did so because he was at work was a mitigating factor in his sentencing in provincial court here Aug. 7.

Gordon Carpenter, 42, will spend about four-and-a-half months in jail followed by one year on probation for pleading guilty to a break and enter with intent to commit an offence and two breaches of failing to report to his probation officer as sentenced by Judge Christine Birnie.

The sentence was a joint submission from prosecutor Bill Funnell and defence lawyer Bryan Crampton.

“You didn’t report because you were working, which is a positive thing but you clearly need to tell your probation officer. I suppose you could consider that to be somewhat of a mitigating factor,” said Birnie.

“The big issue is you were trying to get back on track…”

Carpenter was sentenced to 21 days in jail on each of two breaches to be consecutive, for a total of 42 days, and sentenced to three months in jail for the break-in.

When time served for his time in jail waiting for his court date was considered, five days, the total jail time is four months and eight days.

On Nov. 5, 2012, Carpenter was sentenced to 75 days plus one year probation for a failure to abide by a court order, said Funnell, in reviewing the evidence before sentencing.

On May 20 of this year, he failed to report for an appointment with his probation officer and a letter was sent out telling him to report July 12, which he also missed, court heard.

On the recent break-in Aug. 2, a resident on the 4800 block of Scott Ave. locked the doors to the residence and left around 8:55 a.m., court heard.

At approximately 10:30 a.m., a neighbour saw a Caucasian man with a shaved head and slight build leave the residence on a white bike and head west, court heard.

The resident returned home later to find the door wide open, the back door had been unlocked and called police, court heard.

Three constables came and found nothing was stolen and noted that every door had been opened, including the locked bedroom door, which they believed had been forced open due to damage to the lock, court heard.

Terrace RCMP forensic identification obtained a shoe print and later determined the shoe impression obtained had a similar style, pattern, shape and size to shoes belonging to Carpenter, but could not say for sure that they were Carpenter’s shoes or whether it was a right or left shoe print, court heard.

When Carpenter was located, he was wearing the same shoes with the same pattern, court heard.

“So the evidence tying Mr. Carpenter to this event is that he’s seen in the premises and can be identified by [the neighbour] and has on shoes that are not definitively the same ones but likely to have been the same ones,” said Funnell.

Carpenter’s early guilty plea saves the Crown from the uncertainties of a trial, added Funnell.

Crampton said his client had moved here about seven months ago, looking for work and had been working clearing brush for a pipeline.

“He hopes to continue working…and states he acknowledges responsibility in these matters,” said Crampton.

“It sounds like things were starting to turn for you with work and then started to go sideways,” said Birnie.

Birnie said a break-in is a serious offence as a person’s home is their castle.

“It’s fortunate there was only a limited amount of damage,” she said.

Carpenter will have to provide a DNA sample to police.

He was ordered not to go to the 4800 block of Scott Ave. and to reminded to report to his probation officer when told to do so to avoid ending up back in court on more breach charges.

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