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Desire for drugs leads to series of thefts

After a series of thefts, deceptions and break-ins, a 31-year-old Estevan man was sentenced with no jail time in his future.

After a series of thefts, deceptions and break-ins, a 31-year-old Estevan man was sentenced with no jail time in his future.

Christopher McGillicky had previously pleaded guilty to multiple counts of theft, break and enter, using forged documents and fraud. All of the crimes were committed in order to feed a drug habit, the Estevan provincial court heard during Monday's proceedings.

The incidents began last November when he used cards from a family member's business, spending close to $1,800. He then forged seven cheques, which earned him as little as $500 and as much as $3,500 per cheque after they cleared.

McGillicky's behaviour was once again detected in April this year when employees at L&C Trucking noticed $3,300 had been spent using a fuel card for a vehicle that hadn't been moved for months.

On April 7, McGillicky was involved in a break-in at the Cenovus battery at the Shand Power Station in the early morning hours. Employees at the battery left the site to check on wells and upon return, noticed a laptop was missing.

The next day employees found the trailer broken into and another laptop missing. The laptops were later found in Woodlawn Park.

The loss of the laptops was estimated to be about $3,000, and the complainant reported another $1,100 in damages as a result of the break-in.

On April 12, McGillicky went through L&C Trucking offices and stole another laptop, valued at about $1,378. He returned to the Estevan business two days later, prying his way into the building with a pry bar and smashing open a vending machine. The Crown prosecutor noted there was no damage estimate for that incident.

"Clearly it's ongoing thefts and ongoing issues," said prosecutor Maura Landry, who noted that because McGillicky has taken a number of steps to address his drug issues, the Crown and defence agreed to put forth a joint submission for presiding Judge Karl Bazin's consideration that did not seek any jail sentence.

"It's a case where all the thefts were motivated by a need for drugs," she said.

There was some interest in sending the file to Regina's drug court, but the Crown and McGillicky's Legal Aid lawyer Greg Wilson, decided to find some common ground in sentencing.

The joint submission outlined a 12-month conditional sentence order, which would be followed by 12 months of probation. Restitution orders would also be laid out in separate orders because the accused may have trouble paying back the victims within the next two years.

McGillicky is residing in British Columbia and attending Edgewood, a rehabilitation centre where he is undergoing treatment for his addiction issues.

"Part of the reason for going to treatment in B.C. was that he felt he needed to be removed from this community. There were a lot of negative influences on him in Estevan," Wilson told the judge. "Since living in B.C., he is a completely changed person. I can tell you that honestly, just in my dealings with him."

Wilson added that McGillicky is at the recovery stage where he is living away from the rehab centre at a sober house, and he is mentoring others in the Edgewood program. McGillicky may continue at Edgewood for the next year.

Bazin accepted the joint submission and agreed on the CSO, which will require McGillicky to abide by a curfew of 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., not consume alcohol or drugs and not attend the premises of any of the complainants.