Judge worries Oliver man contributing to a 'time bomb' after endless sprees of erratic behaviour, theft and violent threats

Judge: Local 'time bomb'

A provincial judge has concerns an Oliver man is contributing to a "time bomb" due to his repeated incessant and, at times, violent criminal activity.

Micheal Reis Lameiras, 31, appeared in B.C. Provincial Court in Penticton Friday, facing a string of charges to which he pleaded guilty.

Court heard that on May 13, 2023, Lameiras robbed the BC Liquor Store in Oliver, after previously being banned from the location.

Lameiras stole two bottles of liquor, informing the manager he did intend to pay for them. RCMP were called, and found him at a picnic table nearby. He was released from custody later that day after sobering up.

Then on May 19, 2023, he caused a disturbance at the Coast Hotel, where he used to work. Police were called, and found Lameiras belligerent and reeking of alcohol.

A hotel employee said Lameiras berated her in front of coworkers, calling her various obscene names. She said Lameiras makes her and other female coworkers extremely nervous due to sexual advances and harassment, and had previously been banned from the hotel.

On June 26, 2023, Lameiras failed to attend a previous court-ordered substance abuse management program. Two days later, he failed to show up for an ordered meeting with a psychiatrist.

On August 13, 2023, Lameiras further breached court-ordered conditions, attending a property he was not allowed at and contacting members of his family, uttering threats.

RCMP arrested him at the residence, and he was later released.

On August 23, 2023, Lameiras went back to his mother’s place, despite continuing court orders banning him. His mother, in fear, phoned police for help. He was arrested at that time, and has been in custody since.

Crown counsel asked for 134 days in jail followed by a 12 month probation order including no-contact orders for the Oliver Coast Hotel employee and his mother, plus a ban from the Oliver BC Liquor Store.

With time already served, that would leave 44 days left to serve.

Lameiras’ defence argued for time served, pointing to his dedication to addressing his substance use issues and to educating himself, pursuing his Grade 12 certificate and planning to move on to college.

“You guys got bigger fish to fry,” Lameiras told the judge, explaining his guilty plea.

“I’ve learned from my mistakes. All you can do is learn from it … I’m owning up to my own [acts].”

Lameiras claimed that he has kicked his cravings for alcohol while incarcerated.

But Judge Gregory Koturbash had grave concerns that Lameras’ patterns are not all attributable to alcohol.

“What I’m struggling with is that there is a lot of serious, angry behaviour happening here,” Koturbash said.

“It's coming from your own mother that she's scared and essentially doesn't know what to do, in her own house in her own community, because you keep returning, and the paperwork of an order doesn't motivate you to stay away.”

Koturbash said he was concerned about the safety of the community, and the frustrations of those who are subject to the actions of people like Lameiras.

“We are sitting on a bit of a time bomb with owners of stores actually starting to take matters into their own hands unless the court respond to this brazenness of people walking into stores, and just walking up and stealing stuff,” Koturbash said.

“I can understand that people are suffering from substance use alcohol … but they don't have the right to put other people in danger when they decide that they want to continue down that road.”

Koturbash said he was worried some kind of mental health issue was going on beyond the substance issues, and ordered a pre-sentence report with a psychiatric or psychological component.

"I'm doing this because I just want to make sure you're well," Koturbash told Lameiras.

Lameiras will return for sentencing after the review is completed.

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