A young Kamloops man who broke into an unoccupied home on Schubert Drive while looking for a place to stay has been ordered to spend the next 15 months on probation.
Nathaniel Carter Laporte-King, 20, was sentenced Thursday in Kamloops provincial court after pleading guilty to one count of break and enter.
Police were called to a home in the 700-block of Schubert Drive shortly after 2 p.m. on July 29 for a report of a possible break-in. A neighbour called Mounties after noticing a suspicious man in a nearby yard and then hearing glass shatter.
Crown prosecutor Oliver Potestio said officers arrived to find a shopping cart in the car port and a window broken.
“They describe in their reports going through the residence and calling out to the individual inside, telling him to surrender,” he said.
"Mr. Laporte-King was silent throughout this and was eventually located hiding in a closet in a second-floor bedroom and was arrested.”
Potestio said it was unclear to police why Laporte-King broke into the house.
“The homeowners were contacted and they provided some information to the police that they were not actually living in the residence at the time,” he said.
"It was unoccupied and for sale. They hadn’t lived there for at least a couple of months. That said, nobody but the realtor had permission to be inside.”
Defence lawyer Murray Armstrong said Laporte-King, who has no prior criminal record, was temporarily homeless at the time of the break-in following a disagreement with his stepfather.
“The result was he had no place to go. He was looking at being homeless and his father was away,” he said.
"But he had heard from friends about this abandoned house, so he went essentially to check it out. It seemed the lawn was unattended, the garden was unattended — it seemed abandoned to him. He certainly admits breaking the window to go and check it out.”
Armstrong said Laporte-King hid in the closet after hearing sirens and looking out a window to see police outside.
“It was a serious bit of bad judgement on his part and he recognizes that,” he said. "But there’s no reason why he should be before the courts again.”
Both lawyers agreed probation was the appropriate sentence, but Armstrong asked Kamloops provincial court Judge Roy Dickey to grant Laporte-King a conditional discharge, meaning he would have no criminal record if he completes the term without incident.
Dickey went along with Armstrong’s suggestion and granted the discharge to go along with 15 months of probation.
“A break and enter of a residence is a very serious offence,” he said. “There’s no indication that Mr. Laporte-King was there to steal any items, but in fact just to look for a place to reside for a period of time.”
While on probation, Laporte-King will have to stay away from the home on Schubert Drive and complete 40 hours of community service.
He was also ordered to submit a sample of his DNA to a national criminal database.