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Vernon  

Neighbours frustrated, fear for children after man's latest arrest

'Slap on wrist' not enough

A Vernon man with a long history of charges and probation breaches has been fined $500 and spent one night in jail after his most recent arrest.

And his neighbours fear it is only a matter of time before someone is hurt.

Richard Slobodian was arrested June 6 for taking photographs at the Coldstream skate park.

He appeared in Vernon court, Monday, and pleaded guilty to the breach of conditions, which include not being within 100 metres of any park where a person under the age of 16 could be present.

As a result of his guilty plea, the Crown stayed two other breach charges from June 10.

The 58 year old has numerous breaches and charges dating back to 2014, when the Crown imposed the conditions based on grounds he is a danger to commit a sexual offence against a minor. Since then, he has been under a peace bond that has been broken numerous times.

Neighbours say they live in fear for children in the Alexis Park area of Vernon, and have banded together to support each other and stay informed on Slobodian's actions.

They say they've had enough after multiple incidents of peering in windows, running outside in his underwear to meet female neighbours, intimidating senior residents, and other unnerving behaviour.

"Everyone here is very frustrated," said a neighbour who lives in the same complex.

She noted that Slobodian's presence has been ringing alarm bells on social media in Armstrong and Lumby as well, and that vigilantes are beginning to pursue him.

"We had a black truck come through here recently, and two men busted the windows in his van," said the neighbour.

She said neither Slobodian nor the courts seem to be "getting the message" and that a $500 fine is a "slap on the wrist."

"There should be no bargaining.... There is a child out there at risk. It's only a matter of time before somebody gets hurt."



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