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Theft of truck snowballs into numerous other charges, court hears

Guilty pleas an indication of remorse, says Crown
The Sault Ste. Marie Court House is pictured on July 21, 2022.

Carl Landry first got into trouble with the law when he was charged with stealing a pickup truck in White River in the fall of 2016.

He compounded his legal woes by missing five subsequent court dates in Wawa and Sault Ste. Marie over the next six years.

On Thursday, he pleaded guilty to those six charges, as well as two other offences - unlawfully entering a dwelling house to commit an indictable offence and mischief under $5,000.

Ontario Court Justice John Condon heard city police were called to an East Street building about an unwanted person on Feb. 22 of this year.

Landry, 25, had broken a window, entered his former apartment and refused to leave, assistant Crown attorney David Didiodato said.

He had been evicted two days earlier.

Officers found him in the bath tub with the water running.

"He was wearing his clothes," the prosecutor said.

Landry was transported to the Sault Area Hospital.

A few months earlier, on Nov. 26, Canadian Mental Health Association workers involved in a housing program were at the Satelite Motel.

They noticed Landry walk by, and then heard banging, smashing, and the "noise of destruction" coming from a room next door.

This had been Landry's room, but he had been moved to an apartment on East Street.

Didiodato said the room was "severely damaged" and police were called.

A mirror was smashed, the frame on an air conditioner damaged, a desk overturned and a lamp removed from the wall, the judge was told.

"He was in a state of confusion about his new surroundings and he acted out," defence counsel Eric McCooeye said.

"As apparent from the facts he has difficulties involving impulse and understanding the situation he is in."

Landry has difficulty attending appointments, which resulted in "a snowball of charges" that "accumulated against him and as a result he is custody," McCooeye said. 

The lawyers jointly recommended that Landry, who has no prior criminal record, be sentenced to time served.

He has spent 60 days behind bars, which with enhanced credit it is the equivalent of 90 days, and that "is thought to be enough," McCooeye said, adding that when his  client is released he will be going to hospital.

The court is sentencing a person who "has obvious mental health difficulties and has acted out from time to time in a criminal nature," he told the court.

"With proper assistance and help he can fit into the community."

CMHA is going to continue to work with him, and Landry wants the assistance, McCooeye said.

"He has had a period of incarceration and he can appreciate he must stay away from certain places and people," the defence said. "He won't be out without any help and supervision."

Didiodato called the guilty pleas an indication of remorse, adding a majority of them are for administrative offences.

It is obvious that Landry's difficulties are mental health and housing issues, which underlie most of the offences, he said.

When he imposed the sentence, Condon said he was taking into consideration Landry's absence of a criminal record, the nature of his offences and his mental health issues.

Landry will be on probation for 18 months, must stay away from the East Street building and the Satelite Motel and must not communicate with the complainants. 

About the Author: Linda Richardson

Linda Richardson is a freelance journalist who has been covering Sault Ste. Marie's courts and other local news for more than 45 years.
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