Bike thief get 30 months
So this morning I was browsing through Google News and came across this article in the Toronto Star. Apparently this man, possibly one of Toronto's most notorious bike thiefs, was charged and got 30 months. However, there are a number of finer points that make me wanna scream WTF???
This man paid people money or crack cocaine to steal bikes for him. So he created (or at least encourage) other criminal elements into society other than his own.
Over 3,000 bicycles, believed to have been stolen, were found in his possesion. Owners have claimed almost 600 of them. However, he was only charged with 58 to keep the case manageable and only wound up pleading guilty to 10 counts of possession of stolen property under $5,000.
I'm sorry, but that's pathetic. He should have been charged with conspiracy and then charged with theft as well as possesion.
Ha... Possession. That's another funny one. Along with the thousands of bikes found in his possession police also found 7 Kg of marijuana and several ounces of cocaine. You may not be aware of this but that is a FAR cry from "personal use". He SHOULD have been charged with possession with the intent to sell.
All this and the man is (to quote his lawyer) "understandably frustrated by how long the process has taken" for charges that were laid in July 2008. 1 1/2 years? In Canada? That's a FAST trial.
I think the REAL kicker is the fact that this man isn't even a Canadian citizen. According to his lawyer, this fact was taken into consideration during sentencing. Only one problem, it was taken into consideration so as NOT to affect his immigration status.
WHAT ?!?!?! So the system bends over backwards for a criminal who isn't even a Canadian citizen while others who have lived here their whole lives get racked over the coals?
I'll admit that I'm in favour stronger and harsher punishments for criminals. And that was what initially got under my skin about this article. But what caused to blog about it was that on top of being a gross miscarriage of justice, this sentence essentially rewards criminals from other countries. We're basically telling criminals to come Canada and we will let you off easy AND let you stay just because you're NOT Canadian.
It's like Forrest Gump said "Stupid is stupid does". And the Canadian legal system in this case has plain done stupid.