A young man whose move to Drumheller was designed to help him get on the straight and narrow, is now on probation after being sentenced on a number of charges including assault, possession of stolen property and mischief.
Andrew Edwards, 29, was in provincial court in Drumheller on Friday, April 23 for sentencing. He pleaded guilty to possession of stolen property, possession of drugs, assault with a weapon, assault, mischief and a number of breaches on an earlier date.
Edwards was picked up on September 29, 2009. RCMP in Drumheller were alerted to a stolen Audi from Calgary in town. They placed surveillance on the car, and Edwards and a number of other individuals were observed in the car.
The car was pulled over and the occupants arrested. Upon searching Edwards, police discovered seven tabs of oxycontin and a stolen iPod. When asked if he had any other stolen property in his possession, he admitted to having car stereos at his residence. When police searched they found a number of stolen items. According to an earlier police release, many of these items were from a rash of thefts from vehicles in the Midland area, and have since been returned to their owners.
Edwards was arrested again following an incident on October 12 of last year. Edwards was at home with an acquaintance when he insisted the two smoke a joint in the garage. The guest refused, and when a youth known to Edwards approached the house, Edwards told the youth to grab the guest. The guest was punched and kicked and received stitches as a result of the attack. Edwards admitted to kicking the victim.
Edwards was also sentenced for allegations arising on January 19, when police were again alerted to his activities. His former girlfriend alleges on January 14 he threw a cell phone at her and struck her. On January 18, his girlfriend also alleges she observed Edwards drinking and using illegal drugs, constituting a breach of his release conditions. The two went for a walk and Edwards broke two windows at The Salvation Army Church. When they returned to the home he assaulted his girlfriend again. She fled the home and obtained shelter with a friend before calling the police.
When the police came to arrest Edwards, he showed resistance to the officers. He has remained in custody since the arrest.
The court heard that Edwards had had difficulties all his life, and was living in a group home by age 12. His father takes care of his financial matters and about a year and half ago purchased a home in Drumheller for his son to reside to remove him from some of the negative influences in Calgary. A pre-sentence report said Edwards was a moderate risk to reoffend, but the risk increases with his use of alcohol and street drugs.
The Crown was satisfied the three month of pre-trial custody (giving credit for six months) filled the punitive goals of sentencing. The Crown expressed concern of recidivism of the offender if he continues to reside in Drumheller without daily support, and without access to some of the resources that would help him. He suggested a conditional sentence order rather than probation. That way, if there was a breach, Edwards could be taken into custody to serve his sentence, rather than being charged with a breach of probation.
Judge Shriar, in sentencing recognized that many consider Edwards not welcome in the community, but could not dictate where Edwards lived. He was given two years probation. For the first year he is to abide by curfew from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. and is barred from having company at his residence between those hours. He is also to have no contact with a number of named individuals, and is to complete 200 hours of community service or structured activity.