Remand centre Dumpster fire leads to prison sentence

Red Deer man with lengthy criminal record adds another 14 days in prison

A longtime Red Deer trouble maker pledged to mend his ways after being sentenced to 14 days for starting a Dumpster fire outside the remand centre.

Dustin Strawberry, 28, pleaded guilty Wednesday to mischief for setting the Oct. 16 fire around midnight next to the Red Deer Remand Centre. He was originally charged with two counts of arson.

Red Deer provincial court Judge Jim Hunter gave Strawberry an opportunity to speak before he was sentenced.

“Thank you for the court’s time,” said Strawberry, who was speaking by way of a video link from the remand centre.

“I’m going to try harder to clear my name in this city before I get kicked out.”

Remand staff saw the fire and called police. The fire was quickly put out without causing any damage. Strawberry was arrested soon after.

Crown prosecutor Ed Ring asked for a 14-day sentence given Strawberry’s extensive record.

Defence lawyer Robin Snider said Strawberry was from O’Chiese First Nation, northwest of Rocky Mountain House, but had lived in Red Deer for the past decade.

Strawberry, who suffers from addictions, has no family or other supports and has lived mostly on the streets.

“He’s been kicked out of most of the places that are there to assist him.”

His lengthy record is mostly for nuisance and mischief kinds of offences, she told the judge.



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