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This article was published 15/5/2019 (386 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A man has been sentenced to four months in jail after breaking into and trashing an apartment while under the influence of methamphetamine.
Elton Spence pleaded guilty in Brandon provincial court on Monday to multiple charges including forcible entry and failing to report to probation.
In August 2018, police received multiple 911 calls from residents in an apartment building on 11th Street reporting that a man was asking people to call police because he was being chased by someone with a gun, Crown attorney Marnie Evans said.
Police initially believed there was a hostage involved, Evans said, so they blocked off the street and set up a perimeter around the building.
When they arrived on scene, they saw a man in a white shirt looking out the smashed window of a second-storey apartment.
Evans said officers learned the man was Spence, who told police he had busted into a random apartment because he was being chased by two men with a shotgun who were after him because they thought he was a "rat."
No one saw anyone chasing him, Evans said.
Spence was arrested and was found to have a small amount of crystal methamphetamine in his possession.
He also told police he had used two points of methamphetamine prior to the incident.
The door frame of the apartment was damaged, as was the door, which was left in an unlockable state.
The interior of the apartment had been trashed, Evans said, with furniture flipped over and the window smashed out.
The tenants were out of province at the time and the apartment was unoccupied.
"Luckily no one was at home at the time that this happened, but this is incredibly concerning," Evans said. "People have the right to be safe in their own home and know that they’re going to be safe … and when they lock their home and remain (there) or leave … they know that their property is not going to be disturbed."
Evans asked the court to consider a sentence of three to six months for all charges, including two counts of breaching court orders.
Spence’s lawyer, Andrew Synyshyn, agreed that custody was appropriate, but suggested a sentence of two to three months.
"Mr. Spence truly believed he was being chased," Synyshyn said, adding that 911 callers described Spence yelling for help. "He was hallucinating."
Spence was also co-operative with police, Synyshyn said, and was accepting responsibility for his actions by pleading guilty.
"You were so high on meth that you were hallucinating and had no connection with reality," Judge Shauna Hewitt-Michta said to Spence in delivering her decision.
"This was someone’s home. Some person you don’t know, someone who did nothing wrong, was off on vacation or whatever and had to come home to this enormous mess."
Spence was sentenced to four months in jail, minus a credit of a little more than two months for time already served.
He was also handed two years of unsupervised probation.
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