Prolific given ‘unorthodox’ sentence
A prolific offender who has apparently cleaned up his act was given a big break in Kamloops provincial court on Monday, June 13.
Peter Ritchie pleaded guilty to a curfew breach stemming from an incident in February in which police checked the Kamloops motel room the 21-year-old was living in and found no sign of him.
Ritchie was on two probation orders at the time, each with a curfew condition.
“He has a number of convictions, especially in the last year or two,” said Crown prosecutor Alexandra Janse.
He was added to the Kamloops RCMP’s prolific offender list last year, after “a brief but intense” period of criminal activity, Janse said.
Ritchie, who has had substance-abuse issues in the past, has kept his nose clean since, completing a 28-day stay in a local detox facility and now living in a recovery house in Kelowna.
Someone with a record like Ritchie’s would usually receive a jail sentence for a probation breach. However, Janse suggested he be given a 60-day conditional sentence to allow him to further his recovery.
“Mr. Ritchie has made significant strides in the last few months,” she said.
“It may seem a bit unorthodox given his record, but I can tell you Mr. Ritchie has been watched very, very closely the last few months and he’s done well.”
Provincial court Judge Jim Threlfall, who normally sits in Kelowna, but was filling in in Kamloops on Monday, placed Ritchie on a 60-day conditional sentence, with orders requiring him to report to his probation officer, abide by an 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew and abstain from drugs and alcohol.
“Keep up the good work, Mr. Ritchie,” the judge said after handing down his sentence.
“If you don’t, I’m in Kelowna, so you’ll be seeing me.”