Crystal Hackett’s drinking problem often lands her in jail and it’s also causing trouble for others.
“From a public’s perspective, this has to be dealt with,” said Crown prosecutor Adrienne Venturini.
When Hackett drinks heavily, Venturini pointed out, violence sometimes ensues and police are often called to deal with her.
“Ms. Hackett is no stranger to the court and one of her biggest issues is substance abuse…it’s a lifelong problem she has not fully addressed,” Venturini told the judge on March 11 in Campbell River provincial court.
Hackett, 25, appeared by video from cells in Maple Ridge. She’s been there since Feb. 15, when she was picked up for public drunkenness and possession of a small amount of marijuana, both violations of her probation order.
Hackett was placed on probation last October. Then on Dec. 8, 2013, police were called to deal with a drunken Hackett who had just thrown a large rock through a friend’s picture window.
The first Mountie to arrive at the scene, near 9th Avenue and Dogwood Street, had his hands full as Hackett resisted arrest.
This led to a scuffle and both went to the ground with the officer suffering some cuts and a shoulder injury.
Finally, another officer arrived and assisted in handcuffing Hackett.
At last week’s court appearance, Hackett pleaded guilty to obstruction of a peace officer, possession of a controlled substance, and three counts of breaching court orders. Charges of assaulting a peace officer, mischief to property over $5,000 and four more breaches were dropped by the Crown in exchange for the guilty pleas.
Venturini asked Judge Parker MacCarthy to impose a six-month jail sentence, but defence lawyer Doug Marion disagreed. He said imposing longer and longer jail sentences won’t help Hackett’s substance abuse problems.
He also didn’t want the judge to impose a probation order because Hackett is likely to breach and wind up back in jail.
Judge MacCarthy then stepped in and asked Hackett, “Do you think you have an alcohol problem?”
The mother of two children – both under care by the Ministry of Children and Families – said she wants to take treatment, but she also had several excuses which didn’t go over well.
“The way you’re portraying this is everyone’s fault but you. I haven’t heard that you’re helping yourself,” the judge said.
In the end, Judge MacCarthy sentenced Hackett to 100 days behind bars and two years probation.