© Guardian photo
Prince Edward Island provincial court
GEORGETOWN — Three strikes may work in baseball but not for Judge Nancy Orr who challenged a teenager here Thursday to determine his own sentence.
The 16-year-old Kings County youth was being grilled as to why he failed to go to school or fulfil his community service work obligations from a previous conviction.
“What’s the problem, sir?” queried Judge Orr as the young man stood before her in provincial court.
“I don’t know,’’ came the response as he shuffled with his hands in his pockets.
He can't be identified but the teen was to be sentenced for a recent theft charge. However, Orr delayed her sentence and opted for a challenge.
“I will give you two weeks to get back to school on a regular basis and start doing your community service hours,’’ she said. “And the results of your efforts will have a major influence on your sentence . . . and Mr. (. . .) I have a good memory.”
While his mother wiped tears from her eyes, court was told the teen had stolen a carton of cigarettes from the Montague Irving and had been obliged to attend school and keep the peace pending his court appearance.
However, he played hooky, got suspended for smoking in a no-smoking zone at school, and failed to use phone numbers he was given by probation services to work off some of his community hours earned from the previous conviction.
Defence counsel told the judge the youth wanted to make improvements to his behaviour, which included disrespect for his mother, ignoring curfew hours, bringing friends over when he liked and hanging with a crowd most likely involved in the abuse of drugs.
“This is not baseball Mr. (. . .),” said Orr. “You won’t get a third chance to strike out!”