A 26-year-old Yorkton woman was sentenced to a one-year conditional sentence on 11 counts of theft under $5,000.
Alana Gordon appeared in court January 14 for sentencing after lengthy negotiations with the Crown.
Prosecutor Darryl Bode laid out the crime spree for the court. It began in January 2012 when Gordon phoned a Panda Hut Express and made an order for delivery. When the delivery person arrived she took the food but refused to pay. Panda Hut phoned the Edmonton city police who gained entry with the help of Children’s Services.
In April, Gordon was again in trouble with Edmonton police when she attempted to leave Walmart with an air mattress she had tried to disguise with a “purchased” tag.
After skipping out on a court appearance in Edmonton, Gordon was back in Yorkton where in late May, along with accomplices Bronson Gordon, her brother, and Chelsey Lewis, Bronson’s wife, she participated in a three-day theft spree covering seven local businesses and involving approximately $4,700 worth of goods including groceries, clothing and electronics.
Alana had already pleaded guilty to all of those charges and an additional count of failing to appear in Edmonton court, when, on November 10, she stole a cash box out of a parked taxi while the driver was in Seven/Eleven.
Finally, on December 22, she and her brother attempted to leave Walmart with $633 in children’s toys and on December 30, she and Lewis stole $200 worth of meat from Sobey’s.
Both Bronson Gordon and Chelsey Lewis are currently in prison. Two weeks ago, Bronson was sentenced to six months on the December 22 Walmart theft and two others at Sobey’s and the SLGA store. He is also awaiting trial on an alleged aggravated assault and robbery at the Kahkewistahaw Gas & Convenience Store on New Year’s Eve.
Lewis was already on a conditional sentence during the December 30 Sobey’s theft and is serving the rest of her sentence in jail for the breach.
Despite the yearlong crime spree, Bode recommended the conditional sentence following meetings with Alana and Edmund Jordan from Aman House Ministries in Regina.
Bode told Judge Ross Green he was satisfied that Alana fully understood the seriousness of a conditional sentence and her responsibilities.
Jordan explained what his organization, which runs a counselling centre, was prepared to do to keep Alana on the straight and narrow. He told the judge Aman House is well-known by the Regina courts, that they run a seven-step program with constant follow-up and that they will make sure that Alana abides by all the conditions of her sentence.
Even so, Green appeared to be uncomfortable with the conditional sentence recommendation calling her crime spree an “incredible string of activity,” and referencing the fates of her accomplices. He tried several times to determine what the root causes of Alana’s actions are, even asking the defendant, “What is your problem?”
Ultimately, though, Green accepted the recommendation. Saying he was “prepared to take a calculated risk, he cited Alana’s lack of record prior to 2012, some positive language in a pre-sentence report, Jordan’s involvement and the fact she is a single mother of three and eight months pregnant.
In total, the judge imposed 17 conditions. In addition to the standard conditions (keep the peace etc.), she is not to be in a Walmart or Sobey’s anywhere in Saskatchewan, is not to have contact with Chelsey Lewis, is not to consume alcohol or drugs and must participate in mental health and addictions assessment and programming as instructed by a probation officer.
For the first five months, she must also observe a curfew from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m except to be in hospital for medical treatment.