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Man's house arrest extended

Original sentencing conditions date back to meth lab being found in Terrace, BC

LEAVING TOWN without first getting permission means an extended court sentence for a local man.

Matthew Kerby, 35, breached his conditional sentence conditions by leaving his residence without getting written permission from his probation supervisor in advance and will spend an additional 25 days on house arrest as a result.

In April of this year, Kerby was handed a 23 month conditional sentence order by Madame Justice Marvyn Koenigsberg after pleading guilty to drug charges after a crystal meth lab was found in his basement nearly four years ago.

For the first 12 months of his sentence, Kerby was required to stay inside his residence or on his lot 24 hours a day, seven days each week.

On Aug. 20 this year, police were called to the Aspen Motel in Smithers for an assault, court heard.

When Kerby's girlfriend opened the hotel door, police noted the smell of alcohol, that she was intoxicated and had a bleeding lip, court heard.

In her statement to police, she said the couple had an argument, he pushed her down on the bed, they struggled and he punched her in the mouth, court heard.

She told police Kerby had stolen a bag of her money with about $3,500 in it that she had planned to use to take her two children back to the east with her, court heard.

Police found Kerby at a room in another hotel and noted that he was quite intoxicated, court heard.

He had gone to Smithers reportedly to see a counsellor there that a friend had suggested could help him, court heard.

He was also on conditions not to consume alcohol, court heard.

The day after Kerby was arrested, his girlfriend found out she was pregnant, court heard.

Kerby is sole breadwinner and also supports her two children, court heard.

She wrote a letter to crown saying she had been mistaken and the assault had been an accident – Kerby was heading out the door to cool off when she ran over to stop him and the door hit her in the lip, court heard.

She had stated she had been intoxicated and perhaps was confused about what happened when she made her statement to police, court heard.

Crown prosecutor Richard Li told court she had called to see if Kerby was going to get out of jail before she could get her things from their place in Terrace and as such, crown was concerned for her safety.

When asked questions by Koenigsberg, Kerby's girlfriend said he was a great father and man and would never hit her, court heard.

But he did just that, said Koenigsberg.

Kerby's sentence for the breach came to time served, the assault would be going to trial and he was let out on bail.

His conditions were the same as his conditional sentence order with a new condition: he must reside with his girlfriend on the condition that she continue her permission for him to live there, and she may revoke that permission any time and if she does, he must leave immediately.

Because the 25 days he spent in custody after being arrested for the assault don't count toward his conditional sentence order, he will spend 25 additional days under house arrest.