A young man who stole food and money from the Princeton Volunteer Fire Hall was handed a suspended sentenced last Thursday and ordered to pay restitution and perform 40 hours of community service.
Leviathan Ryan will have to return $250 to the fire department and comply with probation conditions for 12 months.
The crown sought three months house arrest, while defence counsel argued for a conditional discharge which would leave Ryan without a criminal record at the end of a probationary period.
Court heard that in July 2018 Ryan was caught on tape, at around midnight, entering the fire hall and taking food from a fridge and cash from a pay-as-you-go snack box used by firefighters.
A video camera had been installed at the hall, after at least two similar thefts.
Ryan was recognized by two members of the department who had interviewed him for a position on the squad two months earlier.
Crown attorney Vernon Frolick said that Ryan obtained an electronic pass code to the hall from a junior firefighter who was unaware of the man’s intentions.
For the defense, Kate Lundman argued that Ryan was driven to the deed out of hunger, and he was too embarrassed to go to his parents to get help.
Before giving her decision Judge Michelle Daneliuk noted a glowing pre-sentence report which stated Ryan now has steady employment and the help of a supportive family.
“You are someone who has some skills. You also by reports have had an excellent upbringing and you have very good parents that love you very much and you have good relationships with them,” she said.
However she expressed concern that Ryan had breached the trust “of the fire department and all of the individuals that work in the fire department and who contributed to that money box.”
Further, she said Ryan’s crime was premeditated.
“There was an element of planning. This was not a spontaneous matter where you stumbled across the place in the middle of the night and then decided to do a foolish thing…You thought about it beforehand because you had to get that pass code.”
Daneliuk said she is optimistic for Ryan’s future.
“You are well on track and gainfully employed. I’m pretty confident from what I’ve read in the pre-sentence report that you will not be back before the court.”
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