Thief now in jail after ripping copper pipe out of Charlottetown home

Ryan Ross
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Prince Edward Island provincial court

Tony Everett Lafferty, 36, gets two years less a day for causing some $15,000 in damage during break, enter, theft

A man who ripped copper pipes out of a heritage home causing about $15,000 in damage was sentenced Tuesday to serve two years less a day in jail.

Tony Everett Lafferty, 36, appeared before Chief Judge John Douglas in provincial court in Charlottetown for sentencing after he pleaded guilty to four charges that included the break and enter at a home on Walthen Drive in Charlottetown.

The court heard that on April 7, Lafferty broke into the house, ripped out copper pipes and stole several items including antique coins, an antique watch, a silver tea set, a nursing pin and a brass beaver.

It was a heritage building the owners used as a tourist operation with the antiques on display.

Removing the pipes caused about $15,000 in damage.

Lafferty’s girlfriend later sold the copper for $130 and the two were arrested after they were identified on surveillance video at the scrap yard.

Some of the other stolen items were later recovered but the owners’ insurance company denied their claim and Crown attorney Lisa Goulden said the couple might be forced to sell the building.

Lafferty was also sentenced for stealing from a Superstore after the store’s security guard reported him fleeing with a cart full of groceries.

The groceries were worth $258.50 and Lafferty abandoned them before jumping into a waiting vehicle.

He also faced charges of failing to attend court and breaching the conditions of his probation.

Before hearing his sentence Lafferty rose to address the court and read a letter as he stood at the defence table with his wrists shackled.

Lafferty said he regretted the damage caused to his family and society as a whole because of his actions.

He also said he had addictions issues and opiates were a part of his life for 15 years.

“I plan on making this a life changing experience,” he said.

Lafferty told the court he was willing to do anything possible to separate himself from his addiction and he planned to make the court case a turning point in his life.

Douglas said Lafferty appeared sincere in his intention to deal with his addictions, but added it is a struggle.

“You know what you have to do,” Douglas said.

He then sentenced Lafferty to serve two years less a day for the break and enter, and 30 days each to be served concurrently on the probation breach and the Superstore theft.

Douglas gave Lafferty credit for the 24 days he was in custody and a suspended sentence for missing court.

Along with the jail time Lafferty will be on probation for two years and will have to perform 40 hours of community service, which is still outstanding from previous charges.

Douglas also ordered him to pay $15,676 in restitution and $600 in victim surcharges.

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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  • jl
    July 25, 2014 - 02:20

    Maybe if pei would invest more money and resources into helping people with the disease of addiction there would be less of these types of crimes being committed instesd the government would rather look the other way and unless something is done the crime rate is going to continue to increase how much more has to be done for people to realize there is a opiate epidemic going on and no its not an excuse to committe a crime their life had become so consumed by the disease that that's what their life has resorted to crime and irrational thinking and do things they normally wouldn't Its sad to me that people don't understand what an addition is which surprises me since pei has a very high rate of people living with addictions

  • don
    July 23, 2014 - 10:22

    if i was the owner i would sue both of the useless thieves for the cost of the building if i had to sell it. and this bull crap of addictions every time you turn around thats all you hear as a EXCUSE for breaking the law. if i was the judge and could do it not only would he get a jail term he would get to pay back double the damages and made work 6 nights a week free to help repair what he and his useless girlfriend damaged.