Man gets house arrest for role in southern Alberta cemetery vandalism

A man has been sentenced to six months of house arrest for his role in vandalism at a southern Alberta cemetery.

LETHBRIDGE — A man has been sentenced to six months of house arrest for his role in vandalism at a southern Alberta cemetery.

Jonathan Frederick Mitchell pleaded guilty Monday in Lethbridge provincial court to mischief causing damage over $5,000.

Mitchell, who is 32, was part of a group that smashed 17 headstones at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in March.

Court heard that the individuals, who had been drinking and doing drugs, knocked the crosses off headstones, kicked them down and drove over them with cars.

Damage was pegged at almost $50,000.

Four other people have already pleaded guilty and been sentenced, while an arrest warrant is out for a fifth suspect.

As part of his conditional sentence, Mitchell must take counselling for substance abuse and anything else his supervisor directs. He must not consume alcohol or non-prescription drugs, and is not to go into any licensed premises where alcohol is primarily served.

Crown prosecutor Vaughan Hartigan told court the group was partying at the cemetery and decided to desecrate the headstones. He said there doesn’t seem to have been a purpose for the vandalism other than to provide entertainment for themselves.

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