Bloody thief sentenced
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.”