The Yorkton Girl Guides will receive full restitution for recyclables stolen following their highly successful bottle drive in May.
Appearing by video from Regina Correctional Centre, Christopher Rhodes pleaded guilty to possession of the proceeds of crime and agreed to pay back the $500 he received from cashing in the stolen cans and bottles.
In recommending a joint submission with the Crown for 60 days incarceration, defence counsel Richard Yaholnitsky explained that an undisclosed person who had been residing with Rhodes had brought a carload of recyclables to his residence. Rhodes agreed to keep them, but when the person returned with second and third loads he became suspicious and asked if they were stolen.
The alleged thief denied it, Yaholnitsky said, but admitted his client had done nothing further to ascertain the origin of the windfall and recruited others to help him take the goods back to SARCAN, netting $488.
Prosecutor Andy Wyatt submitted aggravating circumstances that Rhodes was evasive with police when arrested on August 19, that he has a lengthy criminal record and was on parole at the time he received the stolen property.
Nevertheless, with regard to the proffered restitution, the Crown agreed to the 60-day sentence recommendation.
On his own behalf, Rhodes petitioned Judge Patrick Koskie to take into consideration his time served since his arrest, but Koskie had no intention of entertaining that idea saying the defendant “would have got a lot longer than [60 days]” considering the parole violation and had it not been for the restitution.
Rhodes will serve the 60 days consecutive to whatever time he has left on the parole violation.
Following reports of the theft in May, local businesses and individuals made up the shortfall—which amounted to approximately half the bottles collected—with private donations. With the repayment from Rhodes, the Guides are even further ahead than they would have been, and not just financially.
“We have gained community support in our efforts and have built some new and exciting relationships with some other organizations because of this as well,” wrote Barb Pohozoff and Jacquie Schmidt in a letter-to-the-editor May 22.