Drug-addicted man steals more than 50 cans of fish

Ryan Ross
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Prince Edward Island provincial court

Gets 260 days in jail for that and other criminal offences

An Island man whose thefts to feed his drug addiction included more than 50 cans of fish will spend 260 days in jail after he was sentenced in provincial court Wednesday.

Nathan Karl King, 32, appeared before Judge Nancy Orr in Charlottetown where he pleaded guilty to five charges, including stealing from three stores, failing to attend court and breaching the conditions of his probation.

In handing down the sentence, Orr said the stolen items were worth thousands of dollars when they were all added up.

“These are high end thefts.”

The court heard that on July 11, King went to the Canadian Tire in Charlottetown where surveillance cameras caught him stealing a mosquito trap worth $499.99, which the police weren’t able to recover.

At the time, King was banned from the store because of a previous offence and he had outstanding warrants in New Brunswick and Quebec.

On Sept. 28, King went to a Superstore in Charlottetown where he tried to steal $770.62 worth of groceries before store security caught him.

The items were recovered and resalable.

Earlier this month, King committed another theft, this time at the Sobeys in Stratford where he walked out of the store with more than 50 cans of fish that were being sold for $6.49 a can.

The police located him about 10 minutes later and the cans were recovered for resale.

King has a criminal record that includes robbery, thefts and credit card fraud.

His lawyer, Clare Henderson, told the court King started using opiates when he was 24 and there were gaps in his criminal record from when he was off drugs.

Henderson said he was asking for a sentence to be served on weekends and he was ready to pay restitution right away if Orr released him that day.

Orr said that wasn’t going to happen.

“He’s dreaming in Technicolor if he thinks I’m going to release him today,” she said.

In handing down a sentence, Orr said the fact he had an addiction wasn’t an excuse and didn’t entitle him to a lower sentence.

She also said it wasn’t an appropriate case for an intermittent sentence and he will have to serve it as straight time.

King will be on probation for two years after his release and Orr ordered him to write apology letters to the victims.

He will also have to pay $499 in restitution to Canadian Tire along with $300 to the victims of crime fund and he is banned from the three stores while on probation.

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

Organizations: Canadian Tire, Sobeys, Technicolor

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Iceland, New Brunswick Quebec Stratford

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Recent comments

  • Andrew
    December 16, 2013 - 08:04

    Sorry if this offends someone but it really gets old hearing about the poor guy/girl he/she has a disease ..... The fact is with all the information out there with media and schools about drugs, ( and it is all negative I might add) if you still decide to run out and crush up a pill and snort it up your nose in this day and age, well you have no body to blame but yourself. And I'm not a selfish person I am all for helping people but for me I feel money better spent helping a child born with a real illness like diabetes, cancer, these kids never made these choices for them self. And I'm sure given the choice they would have decided not to have these horrible diseases. I'd probably have a little more sympathy if I picked up the paper and someone stole a bunch of fish or meat to pay for a insulin pump. But that's just me.........

  • The Truth Hurts
    December 14, 2013 - 17:45

    The first indicator of naivety is thinking that drugs aren't in our jail systems. If you're not addicted when you go in, you stand a good chance to be addicted by the time you're released. If Doug Currie and Ronda Matters want to turn over a few rocks, here's a place they can start. However, cracking down on this is politically sensitive and a lot harder than cracking down on street dealers and local thugs. Ask anybody who's been on the inside for any length of time - there's a huge problem with guards (albeit a very few) and some inmates.

  • don
    December 14, 2013 - 17:10

    well a great way to get free meals and a nice place to stay. he should be made to go out and work. then see how fast we will have less in the jail. and maybe this story of being a druggie is a nice way of getting off a little lighter.

    • Heather
      December 15, 2013 - 14:32

      Don ...obviously you have never been in jail...trust me it is not "nice" I am sure as a human being your not above stealing . Do not forget to look in that mirror! However I do agree that this whole idea that has been put out in public that you should be excused because of an addiction or mental illness is going a bit far! Humans will try to take advantage ...right Don!

  • Stacey
    December 14, 2013 - 13:38

    Its sad that he went and asked for help but was refused. Happy to see the this young man finally get help to over come this hateful disease.

  • What A Waste Of Time
    December 14, 2013 - 11:12

    What a waste of time this is . Addiction is the get out of jail free card here on PEI . The sentences given these people is ridiculous . I don't know why the judges don't send them to the (as the saying goes) Federal Big House for long enough times to really dry them out & not just a vacation here at Sleep Hollow . Surly ; it's proven now that this short term visit to Sleepy Hollow is not working worth a damn .

    • They need help
      December 15, 2013 - 09:00

      It has been proven time and again that jail will not eliminate addiction yet people like you continue to demand more jail time. The reason short term visits at Sleepy Hollow do not work is because there is NO treatment there. Addiction is a disease requiring treatment, plain and simple. Yes, they do the crime so should do the time but jail is about rehabilitation. An addict can only be rehabilitated with the right support and treatment.

  • DEPORT GRANT
    December 14, 2013 - 09:56

    You can catch these small potatoes, but why not arrest the white collar criminals, instead they get some sort of free pass or something, even though they steal tens of thousands of actual dollars, not cans of fish........

  • Bob Macdonald
    December 14, 2013 - 08:16

    It's good to see these longer sentences perhaps mr. King will have enough to time to break free of his addictions.