BARRHEAD - A former Barrhead resident who dumped several bottles of alcohol onto a county residential property received a 30-day conditional sentence of house arrest and 18 months of probation.
Jonathan Yvon Boily, 25, pleaded guilty to theft under $5,000 at Barrhead Court of Justice on Nov. 14. The Crown withdrew a second charge of mischief-damage under $5,000.
As part of the sentence, Boily was also ordered to pay $1,545.56 to the victim in restitution. The victim impact surcharge was waived.
Justice Gordon Putnam handed down the sentence, slightly amending suggestions from Crown prosecutor Barry Loutit and defence lawyer Crystal McMahon.
"This is an opportunity for a watershed moment in your life," Putnam said. "This happened. It was wrong, and there is a reason that it happened, which you are now addressing. I hope you have every luck with it, so you never have to see me again."
Loutit suggested a 60-day conditional sentence with 12 months probation, while McMannon asked for 18 months.
If Boily completes the sentence, he will not have a criminal record.
Conditions of Boily's conditional sentence, in addition to the house arrest requirement of remaining at his residence for 30-days, except for employment and approved medical treatment or shopping for necessities, include the statutory keeping of the peace and being of good behaviour, reside at a court-approved residence, abstain from possessing or consuming alcohol or other intoxicating substances, attend counselling and psychiatric treatment and having no contact with his former employer.
Loutit said that the conditions of Boily's probation mirror those of his house arrest, except that he is not required to remain at his residence.
Loutit said that on April 1, 2023, Barrhead RCMP responded to a report of a person dumping cases of vodka on a rural property.
The owner of the property told RCMP they had no idea why anyone would decide to dispose of alcohol on their property.
In total, RCMP found 12 cases of vodka, with 12 bottles in each, a cash box, an iPad, a folding table and chairs, gift/business bags and other items "consistent with a business which attends farmers markets or trade shows".
Trail cameras on the property in question show Boily throwing the items over the fence surrounding the property.
Loutit said when they contacted the business owner, a liquor distiller in the County of Barrhead, who told them that he had yet to hear from Boily that day and did not appear at a farmers' market that he was scheduled to go to.
After retrieving the items, the distillery owner told the police that he had found the cashbox empty, saying it should have contained $274.44 and 19 bottles of vodka valued at $640.
"After all the outstanding property was accounted for, [the distillery owner] loss was $2,445.56, including $900 in estimated lost sales and some of the property recovered was damaged," Loutit said.
The distillery owner did provide the court with a written impact statement, which McMahon stated was appropriate and accurate.
"This is a young man who doesn't have a previous criminal record, who is pleading guilty early; any denunciation and deterrence can be accomplished through the conditional sentence order, and any rehabilitation can be accomplished through the probation order," Loutit said.
McMahon concurred with the Crown's assessment but suggested a more extended probation period, saying shorter terms are often ineffective as they do not give enough time for the proper counselling.
She also said Boily believed he was dumping the liquor on his former boss's property "as an act of defiance."
"He takes full responsibility for the offence and wishes to apologize to his employer and his community," she said, adding that he realizes that he should have left his employment instead of allowing it to get to boiling or trigger point.
McMahon added that Boily, a former social worker, went down a dark path leading to depression after he lost his job due to issues outside his control.
"He had eight teens he was looking after, helping them transition into adulthood, when he was unexpectedly let go because of a funding issue," she said. "It was a very traumatic time, saying he has moved five times since then."
She noted that Boily currently lives with his common-law spouse and has four young children between 18 months and five years old.
McMahon added is now under the care of a psychiatrist and has been diagnosed with ADHD symptoms and severe depression.
She added that her client is working part-time in his related field, and the employment will turn into a full-time position in the spring.
Boily said there was no excuse for his actions.
"It was an emotional decision brought on by triggers," he said, noting his boss had been very abusive to him, including berating him in front of his young daughters. "But I know that is not who I am. I was going through a tough time, and I handled things poorly."
Boily also noted that he has had a "troubled past in terms of his past relationships" and that learning how to take accountability has taken time.