Jordan Mousseau-Mitchell gave his lawyer a silent and small fist pump in the courtroom Tuesday upon learning he was being released from custody after spending seven months behind bars.
Provincial court Judge David Orr sentenced the 38-year-old to time served for a slew of charges; most of them were thefts and his lawyer admitted they weren’t the most sophisticated or well planned. Among them: shoplifting from retail outlets in St. John’s, Carbonear and Corner Brook, involving everything from ladies’ coats to headphones. In one incident he used what appeared to be a key to open a glass case at Canadian Tire, took out nine cellphones, but them in a cloth bag and left. In another, he cashed in winning lottery tickets that had been stolen from a convenience store, with security cameras catching him as he left.
Addiction led to crimes of desperation: lawyer
St. John’s woman wants name cleared after police release her photo publicly
Mousseau-Mitchell was arrested Feb. 8, when he was caught shoplifting at a St. John’s drugstore by RNC officers who were already in the store responding to an armed robbery that had occurred there earlier. When he was taken into custody, police found him to be carrying a wooden-handled knife with a foot-long blade in his back pocket. Mousseau-Mitchell was brought to hospital when officers noticed him becoming drowsy and needing help to stand. He told them he had taken by injection eight opioid painkillers and eight Ativan prior to them apprehending him.
Prosecutor Nicole Hurley had argued for a sentence of 390 days behind bars for Mousseau-Mitchell, along with mandatory counselling, a weapons ban and a no contact other with the retail outlets from which he stole.
Defence lawyer Shelley Senior had argued for time served, presenting letters from HMP staff and program co-ordinators testifying to progress Mousseau-Mitchell has made in jail in terms of overcoming an opiate addiction and making a plan to stay on the right track after his release.
With credit given at the standard enhanced rate, Mousseau has served the equivalent of 333 days behind bars
Orr said he had taken Mousseau-Mitchell’s progress as well as the Supreme Court of Canada’s Gladue principle into account in deciding on a time served sentence.
Under the Gladue principle, the court must look at the life circumstances of aboriginal offenders and must consider other sentences other than jail time where appropriate.
“I feel that a sentence of time served is appropriate, followed by a lengthy period of probation to protect society and to keep Mr. Mousseau-Mitchell on a good path,” Orr said.