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Court Briefs

A young St. Albert man who was in and out of jail multiple times this year pleaded guilty to a series of crimes in his one-year spree and received a sentence of time served.

A young St. Albert man who was in and out of jail multiple times this year pleaded guilty to a series of crimes in his one-year spree and received a sentence of time served.

Christopher Young, 21, pleaded guilty to a host of criminal charges including arson, theft, mischief and several breaches of his bail conditions.

Since last fall Young has regularly been jailed for several weeks or even months at a time.

After pleading guilty to all of the charges he was handed the 208 days he has served in custody plus an additional nine months probation.

The litany of Young’s crimes began on July 31, 2008 after police and firefighters were called to an unattached garage engulfed in flames. No one was hurt in the blaze, but the garage was destroyed.

Young had recently been evicted from the home and acted as the lookout while another young man set the building on fire.

On July 25 Young again ran afoul of the law when he was caught along with a number of others breaking into the Big Lake Environmental Support Society log cabin. The cabin suffered some minor damage to the walls.

A few months later Young was caught at Safeway after he walked out without paying for a sandwich.

The rest of Young’s charges stem from repeated breaches of his bail conditions.

In October he was caught with a lighter. Because of the arson charge, he was under a condition not to possess anything capable of starting a fire. In January he admitted he was not living up to a court ordered curfew and he had also not made any significant attempts to find employment.

Young’s defence lawyer suggested the 208 days, especially when converted on a two-for-one basis, was more than sufficient jail time.

Judge Jeanne Burch and the Crown both agreed, but Burch wanted Young to have some supervision after his release.

“I have a concern that simply saying time served and send him on his way does not seem appropriate.”

Speaking directly to Young she said the probation office could not only monitor him, but also help him establish himself and find a job.

“I know there are some supports that the probation office might be able to provide to you.”

Young will have to report regularly to the probation officer and take counselling. He will also have to stay away from the site of the arson fire.

A St. Albert man with a recent and expanding criminal record was sentenced Monday to an intermittent 45-day jail sentence.

Mitchell Wickstrom, 20 who has been a regular fixture at the St. Albert courthouse this year, pleaded guilty to new charges of theft and breaching his probation.

Police were called on May 20 after a resident reported her truck missing.

The victim saw her truck later that night and called police. Officers caught up with the vehicle and pulled it over. When they did, several young people fled the vehicle.

Police caught up with Wickstrom who was driving the vehicle and arrested him.

He was out on probation at the time. Part of any probationary term is a condition to keep the peace.

Wickstrom told the court he is studying for exams with the hope of obtaining his high school equivalency.

He asked Judge Jeanne Burch to consider allowing him to serve an intermittent sentence on weekends so he could continue preparing.

Burch conceded to the request, but said she was deeply worried by Wickstrom’s latest arrest.

“I think it is an indication that you have no intention of changing your ways.”

She told him his behaviour was quickly approaching a point of no return.

“It is sort of a fork in the road, wouldn’t you say Mr. Wickstrom?”

Burch put Wickstrom on four months probation, which should encompass his weekend jail sentences.

In addition to reporting every weekend he will be on a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew and will have to report regularly to probation.

Burch suggested he use the time to study.