A 17-year-old male was given a conditional discharge after breaking into a residence in Okanagan Falls.
The youth pleaded guilty to one count of breaking and entering and cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
On May 29, around 2:50 a.m., flashing lights were seen and noises were heard by neighbours in a mobile home. The neighbours knew the resident of the mobile home was away for the weekend and contacted police. Two officers arrived and could hear movement and voices inside the residence and called for back up. Two additional officers arrived as well as the police service dog.
Mounties knocked on the door and told the two youth they were under arrest, after a second attempt to communicate, the males exited the residence and were arrested.
Read more: Break in at Okanagan Falls
A .22 rifle belonging to the owner of the residence was located by police near the door. A statement from the resident noted the firearm was stored elsewhere in the mobile home prior to the break-in. However, defence counsel Paul Varga argued his client had nothing to do with the firearm being moved, as both counsels determined it was not the youth in question who was the ringleader of the break-in but his co-accused.
“It was not a thought in his head to be involved with firearms,” said Varga.
The youth does not have a prior criminal record.
“The one thing that becomes clear to me after talking with (the youth) is that this is probably the stupidest thing he’s ever done in his life and he knows it,” said Varga. “It’s been a short life so far and hopefully he won’t do anything stupider than this.”
Two backpacks were discovered on the scene and belonged to the accused. Inside one was a partially full bottle of rye, a few individual containers of pudding, a bluetooth speaker, miscellaneous jewelry and two packs of frozen bacon.
“On the bacon front, what’s saved your bacon here is that you’ve entered a guilty plea,” said Judge Greg Koturbash.
Another backpack contained a wallet with cards in the name of the owner of the residence, a chequebook in the resident’s name, a bottle of rum, $20 in toonies and loonies, knives in sheathes and a crowbar that belonged to the youth’s co-accused.
Both of the teen’s were in foster care at the time. The 17-year-old male in court this week, was 16 at the time of the offence. He was placed into the care of the province at three years old and his mother died of a cocaine overdose shortly after. According to a pre-sentence report, the teen has possible symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and some symptoms of ADHD.
Koturbash placed the youth on probation for 18 months in the form of a conditional discharge including a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.