Poppy tin thief gets federal prison time

Rosie
Rosie Mullaley
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Andrew Smith, 24 (right), is escorted into court by a sheriff offier. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

A man who swiped almost a dozen poppy tins last November has been given a federal jail term.

Andrew Smith, 24, was sentenced today to two years plus a day in jail during his appearance in provincial court in St. John's.

He pleaded guilty to 10 poppy tin thefts, which were mostly from Tim Hortons. The total amount of money taken is unknown.

Smith also pleaded guilty to charges of fraud under $5,000 on ScotiaBank from December 2010, failing to show up for court in August 2011, theft of a bottle of Lambs from a liquor store from December 2011 and unlawfully entering a woman's house in January 2012. The most recent charges were committed when he was out on bail. He also pleaded guilty to breaching court orders.

In sentencing, Judge Greg Brown went along with an agreed recommendation from Crown prosecutor William Cadigan and duty counsel Jane Fitzpatrick.

"The public tends to view these (poppy tin thefts) in disgust," Brown said.

He said not only does it take away money from the Royal Canadian Legion for it's veterans, but also discourages people from donating money.

Smith has been in custody since January, but Fitzpatrick said he preferred not to be awarded any time for the time he's already spent in custody. Instead, he wants to go to a federal prison, where he's able to avail of better programming and counselling for his serious problem with drug addiction.

"Hopefully, you can change your life," the judge said before Smith was led out of the courtroom.

 

Organizations: Tim Hortons, ScotiaBank, Royal Canadian Kegion

Geographic location: St. John's

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Recent comments

  • Dee
    February 14, 2012 - 21:51

    It's a good thing at least he got time not like these ones gettin caught drunk driving ,no insurance,no licence oweing thousands of dollars worth of fines,just playing this waiting game on who's life they will ruin next,only to get time served and more probation.Big Deal.can,t wait to seewhat this kid gets for assauth with a weapon,what stabbing someone in the chest,to me thats attempted murder,what if there was no one around to help her,possibly she would of bled to death in a snow bank@ 5:30 in the morning,no doubt he will get help for his problem then everything will be ok.the youg girl may never be ok emotionally.

  • Winwin
    February 14, 2012 - 16:29

    Now, Not that Im defending a poppy can thief but didn't those bums involved in the Nl spending scandal only get 3 months in jail for the thief of MILIIONs? Why didn't they just sentence them to house arrest and make the do the P90X.

  • Eli
    February 14, 2012 - 15:45

    I have no pity for this skunk. Neither do I have respect for the judges who gave the crooked MHA's two years less a day for bilking us hundreds of thousands. To add insult to that the "Honorable Members" spent just a few months of that in Bishop's Falls.

  • BR
    February 14, 2012 - 12:37

    Another one. It seems all the crooks blame their behaviour on drugs and the rest of us have to pay for it. Hard to have any pity on him. It seems the justice system lets them go pretty far before they do something about it

    • LH
      February 14, 2012 - 13:10

      Glad to see this young man admitted his faults and will do federal time an dtry and receive some help with his addictions. Sad in comparsion to the time handed down by the judge to William Power who "stole" over half a million dollars from the RC churches and get 2 years less a day. Great justice system we have.

  • Riley
    February 14, 2012 - 12:26

    He opted for federal time, so he'll get out quicker and there's a better supply of dope available

  • Earl
    February 14, 2012 - 11:43

    If it is indeed true that this man opted for federal time to take advantage of self-improvement options that are better than those in the provincial system, this should be a wake-up call to the department of justice. Once again, it's another sign that from the prison system, to the courts, we need a complete overhaul of our judicial system. People who need help don't get it, and people who should be taken from society [to get help, or for other reasons] get nothing more than a figurative slap on the wrist.

  • Ron Wade
    February 14, 2012 - 11:40

    Good.Maybe he will have some respect when he gets out.