Thief shows ‘callous disregard’ for his break

Campbell River judge dismisses lawyers' jail sentence proposals and gives more time to thief Justin Esau

Long-time thief Justin Esau caught a break when he received a conditional sentence to be served at home.

Last November, the 32-year-old received a sentence of two years less a day for break and enter, and possession of stolen property.

On May 21, 2012, his fingerprints were found on the inside and outside of a home on Taylor Way. When the home owners returned, they found their car gone, along with guns and tools.

Esau gave the car to his girlfriend and had earlier pawned an iMac computer which had been stolen from a local private college.

During his bail hearing in Campbell River provincial court, Crown prosecutor John Boccabella outlined Esau’s criminal history which dates back to 2000 and includes convictions for thefts, frauds, break and enters, possession of stolen property, drug possession, and breaching court orders.

“Mr. Esau’s record is abysmal,” he said, as the judge agreed in denying bail.

Despite his long criminal record, Esau received a conditional sentence that included several conditions. Among them, were orders to remain under house arrest for the first eight months and to abide by a curfew for the next eight months.

Still, under strict guide- and time-lines, Esau was allowed to shop for his needs, meet with his probation supervisor and go to medical appointments.

In spite of these allowances, Esau managed to breach those conditions twice and on Monday he was in court again to plead guilty to his third breach of the conditional sentence.

Esau’s been in custody since Aug. 16, and Crown prosecutor Bruce Goddard asked the judge to suspend the conditional sentence and impose 21 more days jail time on the offender, for the equivalent of a 30-day sentence.

Appearing by video from the jail cells in Victoria, Esau’s lawyer asked for time served, pointing out it was just a minor breach.

But Judge Brian Saunderson disagreed with both lawyers. He said Esau has shown a “callous disregard” for the orders in his conditional sentence.

The judge suspended the conditional sentence and ordered Esau to spend another 30 days in jail.

“Learn a lesson from that,” he said.