12 months for $55 break-and-enter

Among the aggravating factors in sentencing was Calvin Vankoughnett’s “horrible criminal record”

A man was sentenced to 13 months in prison for a break-and-enter and dangerous driving over a pair of incidents last December. (File photo)

A man with a “horrible criminal record” will be spending the next 13 months behind bars over three charges, including a year for a break-and-enter in which he stole $55.

Calvin John Vankoughnett was about a third of the way through a nine-month house arrest for a break-and-enter he committed on Sep. 22, 2016 when he committed another break-and-enter on Dec. 18.

“That B&E involved Mr. Vankoughnett breaking a lock at the Integra Tire store in Penticton, entering the premises and stealing $55,” Judge Gale Sinclair said. “The apparent motivation for that was the fact that Mr. Vankoughnett’s wallet, containing approximately $300, went missing on Dec. 16, 2016.”

That day, Vankoughnett had been involved in a car crash and had been charged with dangerous driving and driving while prohibited, for which Vankoughnett was also sentenced.

After losing his wallet, Vankoughnett was reportedly left without money for food and didn’t have a pay day until Dec. 23, which led to the break-and-enter on Dec. 18.

Given that he was on house arrest during the incident that brought Vankoughnett back before the courts this week, Sinclaire ordered him to serve the remainder of the sentence in jail — which expired in July.

That meant Vankoughnett would get no credit for time served prior to his sentencing. Defence sought a sentence that would stress rehabilitation, while the Crown sought denunciation and deterrence, and Sinclair said he agreed with both.

Sinclair made note of Vankoughnett’s “15 or 16 prior break-and-enters among other things” when referring to his criminal record as “horrible” in court Wednesday afternoon.

“Mr. Vankoughnett’s main issue, as I said in the outset, is his criminal record. He has been involved in criminality since he was 16; he’s now 53,” Sinclair said. “He makes impulsive decisions when other lawful avenues are probably open to him. Here he broke into a business and stole $55 rather than asking his employer for an advance on his pay.”

Given Vankoughnett’s regular appearances before the court, Sinclair said he wasn’t prepared to consider him not a threat to society, despite assertion that he intended to get onto the straight and narrow.

“The author of the pre-sentence report opines that Mr. Vankoughnett’s continued pattern of offending makes him an unsuitable candidate for community supervision,” Sinclair said, adding that Vankoughnett intended to face up against his past.

“That is laudable, and I hope you can do that. However, he has 37 years of criminal behaviour and skewed thinking to overcome. Before that process begins, Mr. Vankoughnett must pay his debt to society.”

Vankoughnett was handed a 12-month sentence for the break-and-enter, with Sinclair noting that that particular break-in was “on the lower end of the scale,” as well as a month for dangerous driving.

That’s to be followed by a two-year probation period, including one year on a driving prohibition.

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