Man blames problems, cocaine for crime spree

Rosie Gillingham
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Scott Brocklehurst sentenced to more than a year-and-a-half in jail

A  man facing jail time summed up in one sentence why he went on a crime spree.

Scott Richard Brocklehurst chats with his lawyer, Michelle Coady, before his sentencing hearing at provincial court in St. John’s Thursday. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

“It just wasn’t me b’y,” Scott Brocklehurst told a judge in provincial court in St. John’s Thursday.

The 28-year-old wasn’t trying to pin the offences on someone else. Instead, he was referring to his state of mind at the time he committed the crimes.

Brocklehurst apologized and told Judge David Orr that he’s been struggling with personal, psychiatric and drug addiction issues, which led him to act out of character.

He’s hoping to get treatment while behind bars.

The judge gave Brocklehurst a prison sentence of just over 19 months, with 18 months’ probation to follow.

Orr gave Brocklehurst 1.5 times credit for the 45 days he’s already spent in custody, leaving a little over 16 months left to serve.

As part of his sentence, Brocklehurst was ordered to pay restitution of more than $2,500 to the various businesses he stole from, which includes gas stations, convenience stores, a liquor store, a pharmacy and an optical outlet.

Brocklehurst pleaded guilty to 25 charges — four counts of theft under $5,000, six counts of fraud under $5,000, six counts of probation and eight counts of breach of court orders.

The crimes were committed over nine separate days — seven of which were in September.

On Sept. 1 he stole a TV and winter tires from a house in Mount Pearl. On Sept. 5, he defrauded Pharmachoice by trying to alter a prescription to include more medication. A day later, he took $45 from a New Found Cabs driver.

He tried to alter another prescription on Sept. 9, this time at Shopper’s Drug Mart on LeMarchant Road. The next day, he stole from Sobeys on Merrymeeting Road. He took liquor from the Newfoundland Liquor Corp. store on Topsail Road on Sept. 29. The following day, he swiped five pairs of Oakley sunglasses, totalling almost $1,000.

On Aug. 10, he stole a wallet from a resident at the Recovery Centre, while on Oct. 2, he defrauded two Ultramar gas stations (Portugal Cove Road and George Street west) and two Circle K stores by using someone else’s credit card.

For the Oct. 2 incidents, he was originally facing 34 fraud-related charges, but Crown prosecutor Shawn Patten agreed to withdraw most of them in exchange for the guilty pleas.

In closing arguments, Patten said Brocklehurst deserves at least a year-and-a-half in jail because of the large number of offences. He also has a lengthy criminal record.

Brocklehurst’s lawyer, Michelle Coady, agreed jail time was warranted, but explained her client has been through a lot in life, struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.

She said he managed to stay clean while he was working recently as a pipefitter in Fort McMurray, but due to a breakdown in his nine-year relationship with his girlfriend, he returned home and started using cocaine again.

“That’s what triggered the crime spree,” said Coady, who said Brocklehurst already has some money saved to pay restitution.

She said Brocklehurst has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder and severe anxiety. She said the medications prescribed for these illnesses have been continued while he’s been at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary.

Coady said he is determined to get treatment for his addictions, “but I know the wait list is really long.”

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Recent comments

  • AM
    December 13, 2013 - 08:29

    Funny how all of the lowlife seem to blame everybody else except themselves for their crimes. Everybody has hard times but it doesn't give you the right to terrorize others.

  • alex
    December 13, 2013 - 06:26

    You know I am not being callus or cold hearted, but we have all had hard times. We have all had issues with life. We have all had relationships breakdown family members die friendships fall apart. You name it, life is hard! But man, you make a conscious choice, high or not, to go on a crime spree. Blame it on drugs blame it on the ex relationship blame it on whatever you want, but a choice was made and I don't think he should get pity points cuz he has problems. Sorry.