A man was sentenced to 10 months in jail, a three-year driving ban and one-year probation after committing a string of offences to support his addiction, amongst other reasons.
Marc Phillip Mcgregor, 37, appeared before Richmond Provincial Court on Tuesday morning by video to receive his sentence. He had been in custody since his arrest in July 2022.
Mcgregor faced 37 charges for offences committed across Richmond, Vancouver and Burnaby and pleaded guilty to 13 counts.
The charges took place between February and May 2022 and involved various occasions of mail theft, car theft, licence plate theft, identification document and credit card theft, and driving while prohibited.
He also pleaded guilty to stealing dry cleaning from an SUV parked outside a Richmond residence, which Judge Bonnie Craig said was “a shame” as it was of “such little value” and caused “such nuisance” to the complainant, as well as stealing an $800 powerwasher outside another Richmond house.
He denied fleeing police in Vancouver in an EVO on a busy afternoon before abandoning the car to run on foot, but he admitted to being in possession of the stolen property later found in the EVO.
Crown and defence made a joint submission for Mcgregor to be sentenced to 10 months in jail, followed by a one-year probation and a driving ban for three years.
Crown told the court that Mcgregor has a “very lengthy” criminal record with many convictions for related offences, and some of his current offences were “quite brazen” as they were committed either in front of the complainants or witnesses.
The court also heard from defence that Mcgregor had a difficult childhood and he had entered foster care when he was 12 years old. He began suffering from substance abuse in his teens but managed to stay clean for seven years before relapsing due to a breakup. The accumulation of his offences was apparently in part to support his addiction.
Defence added that Mcgregor had spent a “significant time” in custody awaiting his sentencing and made “quite good use” of his time by completing Grade 12 and starting introductory courses provided by KPU. His long-term goal is to pursue higher education and he is motivated to stay clean and sober for his three-month-old daughter, who he looked forward to meeting for the first time.
“I just take full responsibility for everything I’ve done,” Mcgregor told Craig.
Sentence needs “teeth” for deterrence and denunciation
Craig agreed that the proposed sentence would be appropriate for Mcgregor.
She noted that since the key principles of sentencing applicable to the case are denunciation and deterrence, Mcgregor’s sentence would have to have “some teeth” to prevent others from committing the same offences. She added that some of his offences were committed in a “brazen” manner.
However, she thought rehabilitation should also be considered for the sentence since he is still relatively young and has shown that he is able to stay away from drugs for long periods.
Mcgregor’s lengthy criminal record with many related offences and his record of driving while prohibited on several occasions were aggravating factors for his sentence.
Craig said Mcgregor’s record reflects “somebody that is struggling with addiction and is committing offences to support that addiction.”
“I don’t expect you had any good experiences in (foster care),” she said, adding that it was likely part of the reason why he was before the court.
She considered Mcgregor’s early guilty plea, which was a “significant mitigating factor” and acknowledged that he had made “some good uses of his time” while in custody. She thinks his daughter will also be a significant motivation for him.
“I sincerely hope that you are able to (pursue higher education) sir,” Craig said.
She also advised that Mcgregor seek treatment as he is at risk of returning to a cycle of addiction.
Mcgregor will need to spend just six more days in jail after deducting his time in custody since July 2022 from his sentence.
He will then be on probation for one year under conditions including no contact with the complainants and witnesses, no going to the addresses where the offences took place, no possessing tools that can be used for criminal activity, no possessing identification documents except for his own and no entering vehicles unless permitted.