Declining health blamed for senior’s crime spree

The lawyer for a senior sentenced on a range of charges from uttering threats to assault is blaming his client’s declining mental and physical health for the crimes.

Wendall Larkin, 75, pleaded guilty at the Penticton courthouse on Monday to assault, criminal harassment, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, two counts of uttering threats and assault with a weapon. Having been in jail for the past eight months, Larkin was sentenced by Judge Gregory Korturbash to 30 more days before he will be released on a two-year probation.

On May 11, 2012, Larkin was confronted by a woman upset with the threatening letters he had sent her and for throwing garbage on her property. While in the manager’s office of the Carmi Hotel Larkin had been residing at in Penticton, she called the police and told the senior not to leave. As he tried to walk away she grabbed him and Larkin turned and hit her in the face and threatened her with a knife. Larkin walked away to a nearby gas station where the woman followed him and asked the staff to call 9-1-1. This only infuriated Larkin further, who then hit her in the right side of her face and pulled the knife out, stating he was “going to freaking kill” her.

A second incident occurred on Aug. 31, 2011, when Larkin brandished a knife and attempted to stab a Penticton man who was unloading his quad near Oliver.

“Larkin came out of the bushes towards him with a knife and said this was a mining claim and he would stab him if he didn’t get off the property,” said Crown counsel Deb Drissell.

The man tried to reason with Larkin and explained the area was a provincial park and he was allowed to be there.  The senior came around the quad and tried to stab the man in the stomach twice with a three-inch blade but did not make contact.

Defence counsel Michael Welsh said this is a difficult case as he is unsure what will happen with his client when he is released. He said Larkin has made his intentions known that he would like to reside in a seniors care home and previously had been living in the bush in the summer and staying in motels in the winter. Judge Korturbash said the senior’s criminal charges which have grown more violent over the past three years are of concern to the community.

“If you are going to be living in an assisted living home you need to behave yourself because I don’t think they will put up with any of this,” said Korturbash.


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