Judge grants Penticton man a second chance

A Penticton man who RCMP at one time listed as a prolific offender, is getting a second chance at life.

A Penticton man who RCMP at one time listed as a prolific offender, is getting a second chance at life.

Lawrence Jordan Brown, 23, was in Penticton court last Thursday for sentencing on a slew of charges ranging from breach of conditions, uttering threats, disguising his face with intent to commit an offence and thefts under $5,000.

All of these took place in 2012, when Brown was listed as one of B.C.’s Top 10 most wanted car thieves.

Judge Gregory Koturbash called Brown’s life story so far, a tragic one filled with multi-generational problems and both physical and mental challenges.

“As early as Grade 3 he was placed behind a cardboard divider so he couldn’t see his classmates and they couldn’t see him,” said Koturbash

He sustained a serious injury to his eye caused by scissors and the parental figures in his life at the time didn’t look into repairing it.”

The court heard Brown suffered from poly-substance abuse, some of which developed from his low self-esteem because of his eye, and that he has a tendency to respond with violence leading to the recommendation of long-term treatment.

He told the judge at his last court appearance that he wants to change and that he knows his actions have hurt the people he loves.

Crown counsel originally recommended Brown be given a two-year sentence with long term probation to get into the programs he needs.

Defence counsel John Stowell invited members of Brown’s family, the Penticton Indian Band and others to speak of the programs and resources that would be available to him at the last appearance in May and was told to come back with a concrete plan.

Brown was given 553 days credit for the time he has already been behind bars awaiting trials and sentencing and had an extra 135 days tacked on to still be completed.

“It is a very unfortunate history and the sentence I am imposing is slightly less than Crown was seeking,” said Koturbash.

However, Koturbash added, he wanted to take advantage of Brown’s willingness to change.

The sentence ensures Brown would fit the requirements for a rehabilitation program based out of Victoria and with First Nations resources.

His jail term will be followed by three years of probation, the maximum allowed.