Hike sentence

Man gets suspended sentence for ‘prowling’ his ex’s house

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Brett Anderson faces four months of house arrest after “prowling” his ex-girlfriend’s house north of Sault Ste. Marie late at night last summer.

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He pleaded guilty to criminal harassment and breaching his probation order before Ontario Court Judge John Condon on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old was friends with the woman for about a year before they dated for about a month. He was seen on camera walking “several times” around his ex’s home in Aweres Township on July 30, 2021, Assistant Crown Attorney Blair Hagan told the court. The woman feared for her safety and the well-being of her new beau’s baby girl.

“There was no reason” for Anderson to be at the residence, Hagan said. He was on probation from May 2021 to keep the peace and have good conduct.

“He was seen on video cameras stalking outside his house at night,” Hagan said. “It caused a lot of fear for (the victim).”

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The Ontario Provincial Police were called. Anderson was arrested at a residence east of the Sault.

Condon accepted a joint submission from Hagan and defense attorney Wayne Chorney. Anderson received a four-month suspended prison order. He cannot leave his residence unless he is going to work, there is a medical emergency involving himself or an immediate family member, or he is getting his daily supply of methadone from Recovery North.

“This program has really helped and supported him,” said Chorney of the Queen Street East site. “That’s why he’s probably still alive.”

Anderson can get the necessities of life on Friday afternoons. He cannot have any contact with his former girlfriend and cannot possess weapons.

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Two years of probation follow his custody. Anderson needs to get addiction counseling. He must give a DNA sample and cannot possess weapons for 10 years. Anderson must continue to avoid the victim.

His client has been “very ill” for four to five years and “continues to be a little ill,” Chorney told Condon. He has used fentanyl and heroin and suffers from depression. Anderson has tried different antidepressant medications, but “none of them seem to really completely suppress the depression,” Chorney said. Anderson’s mother is “very worried about him” and “continues to worry about him”. He lives with her.

“Traditional incarceration wouldn’t be healthy for him,” Chorney said. “It could be fatal.”

Anderson thanked the court “for any leniency granted.”

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Any leniency, Condon said, comes from the suspended sentence that keeps Anderson out of jail.

“I can’t imagine someone with your challenges would find jail very easy,” Condon said. He suggested Anderson would be “a pretty easy target” behind bars.

“Whether there is clemency, or lack thereof, will be strictly up to you in terms of following the orders that are imposed today,” Condon said.

“I understand, Your Honor,” Anderson said.

“For reasons that are unclear, possibly related to your mental health, you were unable to let go of this relationship,” Condon said. He acknowledged “the fear you caused (the victim) by seeing you prowling around his house in the early morning”.

Anderson said he will follow the conditions of his probation, which include having no weapons, reporting any change of address and not having contact with his ex-girlfriend.

“All of them,” Anderson said. “All of them, Your Honor.”

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On Twitter: @Saultreporter

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