Prairie Post (East Edition)

Southern Alberta man receives jail sentence for rural crime spree

- By Tim Kalinowski,

A Taber man facing numerous property crime charges after a “crime spree” throughout southern Alberta earlier this year will have plenty of time to think about his actions after being sentenced to nearly three years in prison.

Henry Neudorf, 23, pleaded guilty to 13 charges of break and enter, two charges of fraud under $5,000, illegal transfer of a stolen firearm, seven counts of breach of release conditions, two charges of failure to appear in court, one charge of theft under $5,000, operating a motor vehicle while prohibited, and driving without insurance in Lethbridge provincial court on Thursday.

The rural crime spree began in mid-January this year and ended with Neudorf and co-accused Isaak Dyck’s arrest in early February.

Neudorf pleaded guilty to committing break and enters at GM Tire Service in Coaldale on Jan. 17, Continenta­l Auto Sales in Coaldale on Jan. 18, Circle Hill Mennonite School near Taber on Jan. 21, Ben’s Quality Meats in Picture Butte in Jan. 27, Rainbow Greenhouse in Iron Springs on Jan. 24, Coyote’s Grill and Wok in Coalhurst on Jan. 28, the Turin Post Office on Jan. 28, M & K Fabrics in Vauxhall on Jan. 28, Canada Lamb Growers in Lethbridge County on Feb. 2, the Goldridge Industries feedlot near Turin on Feb. 2, Stronks Feedlot Ltd. near Picture Butte on Feb. 2, where he admitted to stealing a .22 rifle with ammunition from an animal medical office, and Cameron Farms Colony on Feb. 6.

Crown Prosecutor Bruce Ainscough, in a joint submission with defence counsel, requested Judge Lefever impose custodial sentences of 60 days in custody on each of these charges. Ainscough also requested an additional 20 days for operating a motor vehicle without a licence, 20 days for one fraud charge, 10 days for a second fraud charge, 10 days each on every breach charge, and one day for each of Neudorf ’s failure to appear in court charges.

However, the longest custodial sentence Ainscough requested was on the transfer of a stolen firearm charge. Neudorf and Dyck sold the firearm to a person who was ineligible to have a legal firearm who then sold it to another buyer. Ainscough requested a sentence of 240 days be imposed due to the aggravatin­g circumstan­ces of this offence.

Ainscough also requested fines of $250 for theft under charge and $3,000 for driving without insurance.

The total time in custody would then be 1,090 days, or almost three years, less 195 days of pre-trial credit for time served.

Calgary defence lawyer John Oman told the court Neudorf had only ever had one conviction for driving under the influence prior to this year’s “spree,” and that he had fallen under the negative influence of his co-accused. Neverthele­ss Oman said his client was wanting to take responsibi­lity for his own actions in these matters. Neudorf, who has been in custody since April 26 at Lethbridge Correction­al Centre, requested through Oman that the court consider giving him three or four days leave from prison prior to imposing the sentences requested in the joint submission.

This was denied by Lefever due to Neudorf ’s recent history of breaches and failures to appear. Lefever then sentenced Neudorf to 1,090 days as requested by the Crown, less the 195 days already served, to commence immediatel­y.

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