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Alberta judge threatens Federal prison time for stolen snowboard

A provincial court judge delivered some harsh words last Wednesday (Jan. 29) during the sentencing of 23-year-old Wesley Hasslberger-Wright, who was charged with theft after stealing a snowboard from a storage locker in an underground parking lot in Banff
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CANMORE – Provincial Court of Alberta Judge Les Grieve laid down the law this week as he threatened federal prison time for a snowboard theft.

In the Canmore Provincial Courthouse Wednesday (Jan. 29) morning, the judge delivered some harsh words during the sentencing of 23-year-old Wesley Hasslberger-Wright, who was charged with theft after stealing a snowboard from a storage locker in an underground parking lot in Banff.  

Hasslberger-Wright was also charged with two counts of possession of property obtained by crime, two counts of disobeying order of the court, possession of weapon for a dangerous purpose and unauthorized possession of identity documents. 

"You need to smarten up ... and don't be a criminal, you are not very good at it," Grieve said after agreeing to a proposed sentence of 15 days in jail, forfeiture of all items seized and a $100 victim fine surcharge on each count.

Hasslberger-Wright pleaded guilty to possession of property obtained by crime and possession of an identity document belonging to someone else. 

The charges related back to a Dec. 18, 2019 incident where Banff RCMP found stolen property including a snowboard, a television and coffee machine.

"I understand it doesn't look good, none of it is," Hasslberger-Wright said via CCTV in the courtroom.

Grieve asked the accused why he should agree with the 15-day sentence and not impose a more lengthy sentence such as eight months.

"If I'm not given a chance, how can I prove myself," Hasslberger-Wright said.

The judge said he was tempted to throw Hasslberger-Wright in federal prison as the accused was also in breach of a conditional sentence order by being in possession of a weapon and in possession of alcohol.

"Now you go into a parkade and steal someone's snowboard. You weren't even supposed [to] be doing anything other than keeping the peace and being of good behaviour," Grieve said.

The judge raised his voice as he reminded Hasslberger-Wright that basic skills were taught in kindergarten and Grade 1, such as "play nice, don't hit and don't touch other people's stuff."

Hasslberger-Wright was given the 15-day jail sentence and has six months to pay the victim fine surcharge.

Grieve said if Hasslberger-Wright ended up in his court again he would send the accused to federal prison.

"Try learn something so you don't come back," Grieve said at the end of the sentencing.



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Jenna Dulewich

About the Author: Jenna Dulewich

Jenna Dulewich is a national and provincial award-winning multi-media journalist. Joining the Rocky Mountain Outlook in 2019, she covers Stoney Nakoda, MD of Bighorn, Canmore and court.
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