Repeat break-and-enter offender gets house arrest, not jail

Hope for repeat offender

A judge has expressed hope for a young man who has turned his life around following a series of break-and-enters in Penticton, sentencing him to house arrest rather than jail.

In Penticton court Monday, Kyle Daniel Shaw, 32, pleaded guilty to four offences over a series of months in 2020.

Shaw broke in to the Penticton and District Society for Community Living on Industrial Avenue, the Penticton Fire Department's training centre on Dawson Avenue, and two apartment complexes, all between April and December.

The incidents were not his first brushes with the law. Shaw also has a series of offences on his record spanning from 2007.

But Judge Andrew Tam heard that since being released on bail following his final break-in in December 2020, Shaw has been cleaning up his act.

A joint submission from Crown and defence lawyers argued for a total of 24 months' conditional sentence, the first seven of which would be under house arrest, with increasingly lenient curfew requirements.

Both lawyers said Shaw has been working to improve himself, moving to West Kelowna to be away from friends and family who were bad influences in Penticton, and following all bail requirements religiously.

Tammy Malkovich with Unlocking the Gates, a non-profit organization that supports reintegration of criminals into the community, also spoke in court in support of a conditional sentence rather than putting Shaw behind bars. She has been working closely with Shaw throughout 2021.

"He's been able to stay in the community drug-free," Malkovich said.

"It is my hope that that the courts let him continue his journey in the community because this is where all the magic happens. You can stay sober in prison, but he needs to learn to remain sober [out here]."

Shaw himself stood and thanked the court for the opportunity over the past year to reevaluate his life choices.

"I know now I need to make new friends. So thank you very much," Shaw said.

Shaw will serve his conditional sentence in the community for the next 24 months. seven months will be under house arrest, the following ten will be with a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. and the final seven with standard probationary conditions, including a ban from the businesses and locations he vandalized.

"From everything I've heard you've really applied yourself, you've really turned the situation around despite the the challenging circumstances that you face," the judge said in his decision.

"Your performance since January, I think is the great comfort in what I need to do today in terms of protecting the public."

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