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Sentence for espresso machine theft includes counselling for addiction, mental-health issues

Court heard Joseph Andrews had a traumatic upbringing and has battled addiction for many years
Kamloops courts courthouse

A Kamloops man who walked out of a downtown store without paying for a $1,000 espresso machine in his arms has been sentenced to three days of time served in custody and placed on probation for one year.

In addition, Joseph Andrews, 44, is prohibited from visiting London Drugs in Lansdowne Village, from where he stole the espresso machine.

On March 16 in Kamloops provincial court, Andrews pleaded guilty to theft under $5,000, with the sentence arising from a joint submission to Judge Marianne Ruth Armstrong from defence lawyer Murray Armstrong and Crown counsel Evan Goulet.

Court heard that Andrews walked into London Drugs on Feb. 8, 2022, and left the store without paying for the $1,000 espresso machine. Shortly afterwards, Andrews was described to be running down a nearby street, screaming. He then entered Jacob’s Noodle and Cutlet, on Fourth Avenue between Victoria and Seymour streets, and tried to leave via the back door, but was convinced by staff to exit by the front door. Andrews was arrested shortly afterwards.

At the time, court heard, Andrews insisted to police that he had paid for the espresso machine and had bought it for his mother.

Defence and counsel informed Judge Armstrong that while Andrews has a lengthy criminal record, dating back to 2004, there has been a significant gap, between 2012 and 2017, during which he did not re-offend.

Court heard Andrews was born in Ontario and raised in Alberta and has battled addiction for a number of years. Andrews left home at the age of 16 due to allegations of abuse from his stepfather and was later raised by a godfather.

Court heard Andrews had previously overcome a fentanyl addiction with support from the ASK Wellness Society and methadone treatment, is involved in an 11-year-long relationship and has expressed deep remorse for his actions.

“When your childhood is marred by such trauma, it’s difficult. The court’s hope is that you can find a way forward,” Judge Armstrong told Andrews. “Your record is significant, but as both counsel have pointed out, there’s a significant gap between offences and that has to be taken into account.”

She ordered Andrews to keep the peace, be of good behaviour, notify the court of any changes to address or occupation and attend counselling or education as directed by the probation officer for substance abuse, trauma recovery and mental health. Due to Andrews’ minimal income, victim surcharges were waived.