Arts & Life
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A man who lashed out after traumatic bullying was given a suspended sentence Thursday after a judge warned him not to take matters into his own hands again.
The man, whom the Sun is not naming due to the nature of this case to prevent further repercussions related to bullying, pleaded guilty to possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, mischief, and using a stolen credit card.
Crown attorney Caroline Lacey said that on July 4, 2019, police were dispatched after a woman reported seeing someone in a ski mask damaging her vehicles with a knife. She told police the man slashed tires and scratched words into the side of her vehicle.
When the woman confronted the man, he said he was doing it because "her son was a piece of shit," Lacey said.
The man also committed a number of credit card frauds from July 9 to Aug. 1, 2019. Lacey said that on July 23 at approximately 3:30 p.m., police spoke to a woman who said someone had broken into her vehicle that night. Her credit card, a few gift cards and change was stolen, she said.
The credit card was used at the Hillcrest Motel for a total of $87.51, at a Liquor Mart for a total of $74.79 and at a Co-op gas station for a total of $6.06.
On the same day, police went to the Liquor Mart and were able to get security camera footage of the man using the credit card.
Then, on Aug. 1, police spoke to a man who reported that his credit card was stolen, Lacey said. The man said it was used twice at the Wheat City Vape Shop, one for $25.75 and one for $70.74.
The man also stole a 750-millilitre bottle of Hennessy from Liquor Mart.
Police then went to the last known address of the accused, but his parents said he no longer lived there. His parents took him to the Brandon police headquarters later in the day. At that point he did not make a statement and was released on recognizance.
The Crown noted the accused has "cognitive difficulties," including ADHD and problems controlling his impulses.
Lacey asked for a combination of fines, restitution and supervised probation as a sentence for the guilty pleas.
Defence lawyer Ryan Fawcett said there were "several things going on behind the scenes," with the incidents last summer.
"In the last little while he … has been the victim of some severe bullying," Fawcett said.
"It really upset (the man), and he’s someone who already deals with a number of mental-health afflictions.
"At the end of the day, a picture develops that this is a young man who’s struggling, who has acted out."
Fawcett agreed with the Crown’s recommended sentence.
The man told the court he has changed in a lot of ways since the incident and is still in the process of making changes in his life.
Judge Shaun Hewitt-Michta said she knows bullying can be traumatic and difficult, but it’s not an excuse for the way he acted in response.
"One of the things you have to learn walking away from all of this is you don’t take matters into your own hands. The police are there for a reason; if there’s a problem then you go to the police and you ask for their help," she said.
"The lesson is: if there’s a problem, you ask for help, and you don’t take it into your own hands and try to deal with it yourself because that did not go well here, and most of the time I suspect you’re going to get caught."
The judge said there was the possibility of sending him to jail, but handed him a 15-month suspended sentence with supervised probation. She also ordered him to pay back the money he stole using the credit cards.
» Twitter: @DrewMay_
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