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P.E.I. man who broke into home through a window jailed

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A P.E.I. man who broke into a home through a window and stole $153 in U.S. currency was sentenced recently to 90 days in jail.

James Donald Berrigan, 53, appeared before Judge John Douglas in provincial court in Charlottetown for sentencing after previously pleading guilty to the break and enter, and failing to attend court.

Crown attorney Emily Campbell told the court that on June 10 at around 1 p.m., Berrigan went to his victim’s residence, climbed the back stairs and entered through a window.

Inside, Berrigan stole $153 in U.S. currency, which was later recovered.

Campbell said that as Berrigan was leaving, he met the victim on the stairs but managed to get away.

Defence lawyer Alex Dalton said the underlying issues for Berrigan were related to substance abuse and homelessness.

Berrigan was living at the North River Motel until it was demolished and had started drinking after his eviction, Dalton said.

The court heard Berrigan has since moved into an apartment.

A case worker with Bedford MacDonald House, a homeless shelter, also addressed the court and said Berrigan has been at an outreach centre her organization manages in Charlottetown every day since it opened, including to look for work.

The court heard Berrigan has been attending Alcoholics Anonymous, and a case plan has been set up for him.

Berrigan also addressed the court to say he was sorry, he knew it was a serious charge and if he hadn’t been drinking it wouldn’t have happened.

“I was stupid,” he said.

With the jail time, which Berrigan will serve on weekends so he can work at a job that starts in March, he will be on probation for 15 months and must perform 20 hours of community service.

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