‘Risk to community’ gets probation for latest weapon crime
GUELPH A man with a long history of robbing stores with knives managed to avoid custody Friday for once again bringing a knife to one of the crime scenes.
Benjamin Roberts, 29, had pleaded guilty in August to possession of a weapon.
Court heard on May 21 Roberts walked into the Little Short Stop store on Willow Road. He placed a steak knife on the counter and asked the female clerk to use the telephone.
Th converse e clerk reco converse gnized Roberts as he had robbed the same store in 2005. He also robbed two other stores in the same neighbourhood before being sentenced in 2006 to two years less a day in jail.
In the May incident, the clerk gave Roberts the telephone before fleeing the store. The man made a call before stealing a few bags of chips and then walking home, where police arrested him and seized a steak knife.
On Friday, assistant Crown attorney Steve Hami converse lton and defence counsel Krys Rutkowski each asked Justice Gary Hearn to impose a sentence of three years probation.
Court heard Roberts has severe and chronic mental health issues and was not converse taking his medication at the time of the most recent incident.
Hearn noted a probation officer who completed a presentencing report suggested Roberts represents significant risk to the community and himself.
The judge said he was troubled by Roberts history and mental health concerns, and told the man if he commits further crimes he will be sent back to jail. During his previous stints behind bars Roberts has spent much of the time in protective custody.
He was sentenced to three years probation during which he must abstain from drugs and alcohol, not possess weapons and stay away from the Little Short Stop store.