Habit of not paying for gas catches up to man in court

He pleads guilty to 13 offences, including theft, possession of weapons, breaches of orders, drug possession and failing to attend court

A local man’s habit of filling up his red Dodge Charger and not paying for the gas caught up with him on Tuesday.

Kevin Dubois was in a Sault Ste. Marie courtroom to deal with numerous charges stemming from incidents that occurred between July 2021 and early this month.

He pleaded guilty to 13 offences, including theft, possession of weapons, breaches of orders, drug possession and failing to attend court.

And the 30-year-old man, who had little previous involvement with the justice system, now has a criminal record because of his “significant” drug addiction.

He also is facing five months under house arrest, followed by two years of probation.

“This is your first criminal record and you have the opportunity to make it your last,” Ontario Court Justice John Condon told the father of three when he imposed the sentence.

“Whether it’s for yourself or your children latch on to it and make yourself a better person.”

The sentence was jointly recommended by prosecutor Blair Hagan and defense lawyer Ken Walker.

The court heard Dubois stole $72 worth of gas from a Wawa Esso station on July 8, 2021.

He returned to the same gas bar on Oct. 1, where he filled his vehicle with $75 worth of gas, and again didn’t pay for the fuel.

Dubois told the attendant he had forgotten his wallet and promised to return with the money.

He left a folding knife as collateral but never did show up, Hagan said.

On Dec. 4, he did the same thing in Sault Ste. Married.

Dubois gassed up at Circle K on Third Line East, and when his card was refused he indicated he would come back to pay the bill.

He didn’t, and when an employee realized he had done this in the past, police were contacted.

“He had a history of not paying for fuel,” the assistant Crown attorney said, adding his actions were caught on video.

A warrant was issued for his arrest, and officers stopped his vehicle on Lennox Avenue two weeks later.

Dubois had a pipe containing a white substance on him.

A magazine with 10 rounds of .22-caliber ammunition was located in the car.

On Jan. 27 of this year, police were called to Tim Hortons on John Street to check on the well being of a man, who was slumped over the steering wheel of a red Charger.

Officers noted drug paraphernalia in the front console, a glass pipe with a white residue and a large knife wedged in by his seat.

A baseball bat wrapped with chains and screws was also in the front area of ​​the vehicle.

Police located a hatchet in the rear seat and bear spray (a prohibited weapon) in the glove compartment during a further search, the Crown said.

On May 10, Dubois was charged with theft for shoplifting merchandise from Canadian Tire.

He was arrested outside the store after he left without paying for bicycle parts and spray paint, valued at $231, Hagan said.

Federal prosecutor Lindsay Marshall told the court police were asked to check a vehicle on Feb. 5.

They found Dubois asleep, and there was drug paraphernalia in the console.

When he woke up he was arrested, she said.

He was searched, and he had .06 grams of white fentanyl on him.

Dubois has been in custody at the Algoma Treatment and Remand Center since he was arrested earlier this month.

Hagan said the proposed conditional sentence reflects the accused’s lack of a criminal record and his early pleas.

The Crown could easily have called for a custodial sentence, she said, adding “hopefully” Dubois will get some help for his substantial drug issues.

Walker said his client came to court without a criminal record and “we’re going straight to a custodial sentence.”

A lot of other options, such as fines and suspended sentences, were bypassed, the defense said.

“I told him if he breaches his conditional sentence he could end up serving it in custody (in jail),” Walker told the judge.

“He has everything to gain by complying and everything to lose if he doesn’t.”

Crack cocaine and fentanyl were the drugs of choice for Dubois, a miner who had been laid off from his job, Walker said.

“We don’t want to give up on rehabilitation” for a man who had no previous criminal record, he told the court.

When he imposed sentence, Condon said he was taking into consideration the guilty pleas and the fact that Dubois was “clearly dealing with a significant addiction” and still is.

The primary purpose of this joint sentencing submission is rehabilitation and that “benefits you and society,” he told Dubois.

“You are still young and have an opportunity to be a better person and father.”

During his five months of house arrest, Dubois can only be out of his residence for counseling and medical emergencies.

He is permitted to leave for five hours on Mondays to obtain the necessities of life.

As well, he is not to possess any drugs, alcohol or weapons.

During his two-year probation, Dubois must stay away from the businesses he stole from and undergo counseling for substance abuse.

Condon ordered that he must pay restitution of $45 to Circle K and $146 to the Wawa Esso before the end of the first year of the probation order.

He’s not to possess any weapons or ammunition.

The judge also imposed a two-year weapon prohibition and ordered Dubois to provide a DNA sample for the national database.

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