Charlottetown purse snatcher gets five months jail

Sentence of Sterling Robert Culleton also includes assault of his female partner, plus the fact he was on probation at the time

Published on May 5, 2014

Prince Edward Island provincial court

©Guardian photo

A man who snatched a coin purse right out of the hand of person in Confederation Court Mall is in jail.

Sterling Robert Culleton, 27, of Charlottetown was sentenced to a total of five months in jail on a variety of charges by provincial court judge Nancy Orr Monday.

The court heard that on Oct. 25 last year, a sales clerk at Confederation Court Mall went in search of a woman who’d left her change purse on the counter of her store.

The clerk was holding the change purse in her hand when Culleton snatched it from her and ran off through the mall. The purse contained a gift card, a debit card and credit cards.

The credit cards were used to the tune of $691.54 but the owner of the cards had already canceled them so she wasn’t held liable for the charges.

Culleton was also sentenced on a charge of assault after he punched a woman, spit on her and wanted to slice her throat open, he told police responding to the scene. It happened on April 2 this year.

Orr gave him two months in jail for the assault, two more months for the purse snatching, 30 days concurrent for breaking a cell phone of the victim during the assault, and finally, one month more in jail for breach of probation.

Culleton has prior convictions for theft, drug possession, possession of stolen property, breach of probation and failure to attend court. He was on probation at the time of these latest offences.

Orr told Culleton that if he did not begin to change his ways he would be looking at some "very serious time in custody."

She reiterated the court’s position that people in a relationship should not have to live under the threat of violence.

Orr sentenced Culleton to take treatment for alcohol or drug abuse, and suggested he might want to try an anger management course or the Turning Point program.

When he gets out of jail he will be on further probation for two years and must have no contact with his former partner, and write her a letter of apology.

Culleton was also ordered to pay $600 to the victims of crime fund and pay $800 to the victim for her cell phone.