A Red Deer provincial court judge rejected a recommendation that one day in jail was suitable punishment for theft.
It was proposed by the Crown prosecutor and her defence lawyer that Natasha Crossman, 24, be sentenced to a single day in prison after she pleaded guilty to theft under $5,000 for her role in stealing video game consoles, TVs, a laptop and other items worth a total of about $3,000 from a Red Deer apartment in May 2018.
She also pleaded guilty to failing to appear in court.
Judge David Plosz said the sentence amounted to a “kiss on both cheeks” and asked why he should accept it.
“Help me out here. How does that look to the public?” he asked a Crown prosecutor.
“Someone suffered a substantial loss here. Tell me how one day is appropriate?” the judge added later.
The Crown prosecutor explained that there had been no police follow-up on the file and that Crossman was a “party to the offence” and not the only one involved. There was also no record of what happened to the stolen goods.
Plosz pointed to Crossman’s criminal record, which showed four or five previous theft convictions. She is also facing a vehicle theft charge in Camrose that has yet to be resolved.
The court heard that Crossman, who has two children aged two and four, has struggled with addiction.
She has also had difficulty dealing with her brother’s murder in Edmonton in December.
Douglas Crossman’s body was found in an elevator in an Edmonton apartment building. A 24-year-old man has been charged with second-degree murder.
Crossman is trying to turn her life around and is seeking help for her addiction and is upgrading her schooling, Plosz was told.
Plosz sentenced her to 30 days in prison, telling her “and that’s a soft touch, given your track record.”
She was given 10 days to be served at the same time on the failure to appear charge.
Plosz said people who come before him often claim they are turning their lives around.
“Let’s hope it does turn around for you. You better smarten up and change your lifestyle.”