A Northern Peninsula man who stole $15,000 from his former employer will spend the next 20 months and 12 days in jail.
Scott Saunders, 44, pleaded guilty to break and entry into a business, break and entry into a dwelling-house, two counts of theft and a breach of an undertaking.
He was sentenced to 24 months in jail, which was reduced by 108 days for time served in pre-sentence custody, in the provincial court in Corner Brook on July 30.
Saunders had been employed at the Northern Lights Seafood Limited fish plant in Main Brook and while working there saw the pass code to the company’s safe on a desk in an office.
In late 2017, after he was fired, Saunders illegally entered the plant, opened the safe and stole $15,000. None of the money has been recovered.
The Court also heard that on Oct. 15, 2018, Saunders broke into a residence at 4:30 a.m. The resident saw Saunders searching through the pockets of coats that were hanging in her downstairs porch. Saunders ran out of the house when he saw her.
On April 10, 2019, he stole two packages of razor blades from a drug store in St. Anthony. At the time, he was bound by an undertaking issued on Oct. 18, 2018 that required him to keep the peace and be of good behaviour.
In his written decision, released after the court appearance, Judge Wayne Gorman said he concluded the sentence was appropriate because of the number of offences committed by Saunders, who has a lengthy criminal record and addiction issues, the serious circumstances involved in a commercial break and entry offence and the inherent seriousness of break and entries into residences.
“All break and entries into residences are extremely serious offences because of the violation of privacy and security they entail and the significant fear and anxiety they can cause to those who live in a residence that is the subject of such an offence,” said Gorman.
In addition, he said, the break and entry into the Northern Lights Seafood Limited plant must be regarded as falling on the higher end of the scale of seriousness for commercial break and entries.
“This offence involved foresight and the use of information obtained while Mr. Saunders was employed by the victim. The offence involved what is commonly referred to as a “safe attack” and involved the theft of a significant amount of money.”
Upon completion of his sentence Saunders will be bound by a probation order for two years. He must also submit a sample of this DNA and was ordered to pay back the $15,000 to Northern Lights Seafood Limited.
Edited to remove reference to St. Anthony