June 16th, 2024

Man jailed for offences while on probation

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on June 4, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A Lethbridge man has received a short jail sentence for committing several criminal offences last month while he was on probation.
Richard Paul Paniec pleaded guilty Monday in Lethbridge court of justice to single counts of breaching probation, theft and uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm.
The small, elderly man had resolved several charges in February, for which he was put on probation with several conditions, including he stay away from Neighbour’s Convenience Store and gas station. However, shortly after midnight on May 1 he returned to the store, where staff told him to leave.
“He started cursing at them and refused to leave,” Crown Prosecutor Michael Fox told court. “He told staff to either call the cops, or get him a bowl of soup. They told him this was not the shelter and he would not get the soup. They called the police.”
When police arrived, Paniec was outside the business having a cigarette, and he was arrested for breaching his probation order.
Paniec was in trouble again a week later after he went to the provincial building on 5 Avenue South. He was using the phone in one of the departments, but kept falling asleep. After about an hour a security officer told him to stay awake while using the phone, but when Paniec continued to fall asleep he was asked to leave.
“Once in the common area, and on his way out, Mr. Paniec went behind the Paladin Security desk and stole a security phone,” Fox said.
A security officer returned from patrolling the building several minutes later, noticed the phone was gone and reviewed surveillance video, which showed Paniec had been in the area. When the officer asked Paniec if he had the phone, he began swearing at him.
“Paniec stated that he took the phone to make a personal call and he had no intention of giving it back.”
The officer took the phone and began escorting Paniec out of the building. When they reached the main floor, the officer told him to leave, and Paniec threatened him.
“Mr. Paniec clenched his fists and told (the officer) that he was going to, in his words, “knock him the f—- out.”
Paniec continued to swear at the security officer, but eventually left the building.
Paniec was sentenced to 30 days in jail for uttering threats and 30 days concurrent for theft of the phone. He was also fined $500 for breaching probation, for which he chose to serve the default time of two days in jail, for a total sentence of 32 days.
Paniec was released, however, after being credited for 32 days he had already spent in remand custody.

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