Judges or­ders Syd­ney youth un­dergo psy­cho­log­i­cal as­sess­ment

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF

Sen­tenc­ing for a 17-year-old Syd­ney boy, who told po­lice he had stolen between 40 and 50 cars in his short life­span, has been ad­journed af­ter the judge or­dered a psy­cho­log­i­cal as­sess­ment.

The youth, who can­not be named in ac­cor­dance with the Youth Crim­i­nal Jus­tice Act, is to be sen­tenced on three counts of breach­ing court or­ders and a sin­gle count of tak­ing a ve­hi­cle with­out con­sent (joy rid­ing). The of­fences oc­curred in Syd­ney between Novem­ber 2016 and Jan­uary 2017.

The youth has 35 prior con­vic­tions for of­fences in­clud­ing breach, theft, pos­ses­sion of stolen prop­erty and joy rid­ing. He has been in­volved in the theft of five ve­hi­cles, two of which were sub­se­quently writ­ten off.

In a state­ment to po­lice af­ter his lat­est ar­rest, the youth com­mented that he’s likely to have stolen between 40 and 50 cars dur­ing his life.

Dur­ing his most re­cent of­fence in Jan­uary in which he again stole a ve­hi­cle, the youth was on pro­ba­tion, he was wear­ing an elec­tronic an­kle bracelet that mon­i­tors his move­ments, and ad­mit­ted to be­ing “pick­led and high on pills.”

“The only op­tion is to take him off the streets,” said pros­e­cu­tor Steve Drake, in rec­om­mend­ing an eight- month sen­tence fol­lowed by a one-year pro­ba­tion pe­riod.

Both Drake and de­fence lawyer Matt MacNeil, who agreed with the sen­tence pro­posal, spoke about grow­ing con­cerns over the youth’s be­hav­ior, which prompted Judge Ann Marie MacInnes to or­der the as­sess­ment.

“Why are we here to­day when there seems to be so many ques­tions out there about his men­tal health?” asked the judge.

In a pre-sen­tence re­port, the youth said he would not agree to be­ing placed on house ar­rest, serv­ing pro­ba­tion or wear­ing an­other elec­tronic track­ing de­vice.

Al­though ex­pelled from school be­cause of an­gry out­bursts, the youth told pro­ba­tion of­fi­cials he does not have anger is­sues nor a drug or al­co­hol prob­lem.

Sen­tenc­ing is now set for March 29.

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