BRANDON POLICE SERVICE
A boy who lit this large plastic swing on fire in Rideau Park will be allowed to serve his sentence in the community.
A young firebug — who pleaded guilty to setting a boat and a swing on fire during a vandalism spree in which he also slashed the tires on numerous vehicles — is allowed to serve his sentence in the community, not jail.
The boy has told authorities that boredom was behind the crimes.
"That certainly causes some concern," Crown attorney Grant Hughes noted during sentencing of the youth, who is assessed as a high risk to reoffend.
Earlier this year, the 15-year-old pleaded guilty to numerous charges that included mischief, two arsons, numerous bail breaches and a car theft.
He slashed the tires of numerous cars, and set fire to a boat and swing. He also took part in an incident that forced the evacuation of a city hotel.
During a bail hearing back in October, Hughes described how 19 tires on 12 vehicles were slashed on Sept. 7 on the 900-block to 1100- blocks of Third, Fourth and Sixth streets. The total damage was $4,867. A trailer tire was also slashed.
Then, the boy was one of two who set fire to a tarp on a boat parked on the 500-block of Seventh Street on the evening of Sept. 8. The fire spread to the $3,000 boat, which was destroyed.
Hours later, in the early morning of Sept. 9, the boys were at the Canad Inns hotel and sprayed a fire extinguisher into a stairwell and triggered the fire alarm. Hotel guests were evacuated.
The boy who slashed the tires also set a plastic swing on fire in Rideau Park on Sept. 7.
He was released while pending on charges for those incidents but wound up back in custody when he breached his curfew on Oct. 6 and was found with a small amount of marijuana.
He was then released on bail and got into more trouble. He breached his bail order by breaching his curfew twice, and failed to attend school as expected. He also stole his mom’s car that was damaged when he took it for a drive.
During sentencing this week, Hughes indicated that the youth had a history of mental health problems, but a recent assessment detected no particular mental disorder. The boy was, however, determined to be impulsive, immature and disrespectful of adult authority.
The youth had one entry on his record prior to this series of crimes.
Judge Shauna Hewitt-Michta took into account that the boy had spent 82 days in pre-sentence custody, and she placed him on deferred custody for three months on all charges, to be followed by 18 months probation.
Generally, a deferred custody order is a sentence that a youth serves in the community on conditions. If the conditions are breached, the youth may serve part of the remainder of his or her sentence in jail.
The 17-year-old co-accused, who took part in setting the boat fire and the mischief at the Canad Inns, previously received six months deferred custody for those and a host of other offences.
As part of his sentence, he was to do 50 hours of community service work.
» Twitter: @IanHitchen
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 8, 2014