Bloody thief sen­tenced

The Standard (St. Catharines) - - Local - ALI­SON LAN­G­LEY

A 27-year-old man who had a habit of ac­ci­den­tally cut­ting him­self when he broke into con­ve­nience stores and leav­ing be­hind co­pi­ous amounts of his DNA will spend the next 16 months be­hind bars.

Al­lan Mus­tard, of no fixed ad­dress, ap­peared in On­tario Court of Jus­tice in St. Catharines on Thurs­day for sen­tenc­ing on a mul­ti­tude of charges in­clud­ing six counts of break, en­ter and com­mit theft.

As­sis­tant Crown at­tor­ney Robert Mahler, re­fer­ring to Mus­tard’s crim­i­nal record, said the de­fen­dant is “start­ing to serve a life sen­tence on the in­stal­ment plan.”

He said the Mus­tard is ar­rested for a crime, serves time and is re­leased, and then the cy­cle re­peats it­self.

“The driver be­hind the con­duct ap­pears to be a se­ri­ous drug ad­dic­tion,” he told Judge Peter Wilkie.

“If he can con­quer his demons in re­spect to drugs, he can break that cy­cle.”

Be­tween July 2017 and Septem­ber 2017, court heard, the de­fen­dant tar­geted a num­ber of Avon­dale stores in St. Catharines, Fort Erie, Thorold and Wel­land as well as a Fort Erie restau­rant. In each case, he’d smash a win­dow to gain en­try and then make his way to the cashier area and steal thou­sands of dol­lars in cig­a­rettes and scratch lot­tery tick­ets.

All told, he grabbed $5,700 in cig­a­rettes and $6,700 in tick­ets, as well as cash.

Court heard Mus­tard cut him­self dur­ing the sev­eral of the break-ins. Ni­a­gara Re­gional Po­lice were able to match the de­fen­dant’s DNA to blood found at the scene.

On Sept. 29, 2017, he led po­lice on a high­speed chase that ended in Fort Erie.

Court heard Mus­tard has at­tend drug abuse pro­grams in jail in the past, but only be­cause it would look good to au­thor­i­ties.

This time, he told court, he sin­cerely wants help bat­tling his ad­dic­tions.

The judge said a 16-month sen­tence means the de­fen­dant could be sent to St. Lawrence Val­ley Cor­rec­tional and Treat­ment Cen­tre in Brockville, which of­fers drug re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­grams.

There are no such pro­grams at Ni­a­gara De­ten­tion Cen­tre.

The judge said any sen­tence served at the Thorold jail would not be in Mus­tard’s best in­ter­ests.

“He would ben­e­fit from a mean­ing­ful re­for­ma­tory sen­tence,” Wilkie said. “He needs to be at this place long enough to ben­e­fit from pro­gram­ming.”

“It’s not go­ing to be easy,” the judge con­tin­ued.

“He’s got to get lots of help in­side and keep him­self busy and fo­cused when he gets out.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.