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Man gets jail term for involving mentally challenged man in theft plan

BY KEITH LACEY klacey@northernlife.ca A man who formed a plan to have a mentally challenged friend occupy staff while he stole merchandise from a busy retail outlet has been sentenced to six months in jail.
BY KEITH LACEY

A man who formed a plan to have a mentally challenged friend occupy staff while he stole merchandise from a busy retail outlet has been sentenced to six months in jail.

Daniel Carriere, 39, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and has been sentenced to a six-month jail sentence by Justice Guy Mahaffy late last week at the Sudbury courthouse.

Considering Carriere has almost two dozen convictions for theft and other property offences and this was a pre-meditated and well-planned theft, he had no choice but to impose a jail sentence, said Mahaffy.

The fact Carriere committed one theft while a mentally challenged friend occupied a greeter at Wal-Mart and was with his young son during a second theft a couple of days later are serious aggravating factors in this case, said Mahaffy.

Court heard the mentally challenged man was apprehended by store security and Carriere fled from the scene, but was apprehended after his accomplice provided his name to the authorities.

?To not impose jail...would bring the administration of justice into disrepute and be contrary to the public interest,? said the veteran judge.

Defence counsel Louis Sola had asked the court to impose a conditional sentence to be served in the community.

Sola told the court Carriere committed the crimes while depressed because of the recent break-up of his long-term common law relationship with his girlfriend.

Carriere does have a terrible criminal record, but had not been in any trouble with the law for almost five years since going clean and sober and quitting alcohol and drugs, said Sola.

Assistant Crown attorney Alex Kurke said a jail sentence should be imposed in this case because, for whatever reason, Carriere hatched a complicated and detailed plan to carry out two robberies within three days between Jan. 12 and 15 last year.

The fact he involved a mentally challenged man and then had his son with him during the second incident are very troubling, said Kurke.

Carriere should be commended for quitting alcohol and drugs and turning his life around, however, his terrible criminal record and all the circumstances of this offence cry out for a jail sentence, he said.

The fact Carriere pleaded guilty on the day of trial indicates a lack of remorse and he shouldn't be given additional consideration by the court for his plea of guilt, said Kurke.

Mahaffy said the biggest reason a jail sentence is required is because of Carriere's terrible criminal record.

The fact there's been a gap of five years is a mitigating factor, however, any person who has two dozen property convictions and then concocts a complicated plan and steals from the same store twice in a short period of time should know he's going to be facing jail if caught, said Mahaffy.