Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/5/2019 (386 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A teenage girl with a history of possessing weapons has been handed jail time after getting caught again with weapons, including one occasion where she swung a machete at her brother.
"Not only do we have these escalations that we can see in her criminal record … we have the escalation from possession of weapons to actually using one of those weapons — and on a family member, no less," Crown attorney Kaley Tschetter told the Brandon provincial court on Tuesday. "This is extremely concerning behaviour."
The 17-year-old girl, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing a weapon.
The first stemmed from an incident in November 2018, Tschetter said, when the teen’s mother called police after she trashed her bedroom.
The girl’s mother had asked her to leave the home when she started destroying things and punching holes in the wall. However, the teen refused to leave, saying "I’m not finished smashing my room up."
Eventually she did leave the residence and police caught up with her on the street, where she advised she was carrying a collapsible baton in her bag, Tschetter said.
The teen’s mother called police again on March 30, Tschetter said, advising that her daughter was high on methamphetamine and had swung a machete at her brother.
Officers learned the girl had got in an argument with her brother so she pulled out the machete and swung toward the victim twice — once hitting the front door and then actually hitting the victim on the second swing.
Luckily the injuries were minor and the victim did not require medical attention, Tschetter said.
"A strong message needs to be sent (to her) that she cannot continue possessing weapons and she definitely should not be using weapons on any individual, especially family members," Tschetter said.
Defence lawyer Andrew Synyshyn said the teen has difficulties connecting consequences with her actions and expressed concern that custodial sentences are not successful in getting the message across.
The teen has expressed a desire to do better, Synyshyn said, and was taking responsibility for her actions by her guilty plea.
Synyshyn also noted the teen struggles with addiction, and that her drug use in particular has increased and escalated to harder substances like methamphetamine.
She has also been subject to exploitation in the past.
"My greatest concern is that someone out there is going to take advantage of her," Synyshyn said. "I’ve told her a number of times that there’s only two ways this can end for her if she continues down this path — she’s going to seriously hurt somebody, or she’ll be dead."
Taking into consideration the teen had already spent the equivalent of 69 days in custody after a credit for time served, Judge Shauna Hewitt-Michta sentenced the teen to a little more than a month in jail to be followed by 17 days of community supervision.
"In terms of the seriousness of these matters … in my view this is quite serious and is presently quite a problem in Brandon, the number of people we hear about out in the community with weapons, including machetes," Hewitt-Michta said.
The teen was also put on a two-year weapons prohibition.
» Twitter: @erindebooy