Judge reserves decision in case of woman guilty of breaching orders

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PICTOU – A Provincial Court judge has reserved his decision in the sentencing of a Pictou Landing woman. 

Kimberly Ann Hatfield will return to court in early January to find out if Judge Del Atwood wants to give her a custodial sentence where she would receive in-house treatment for a drug addiction or a conditional sentence that would require her to take control of her addiction and seek out treatment on her own.

“You have faced tremendous challenges in your life and you managed to overcome many of them,” Atwood told Hatfield during a sentencing hearing Monday.

Hatfield entered guilty pleas on charges of possession of an illegal substance as well breaching court orders by failing to show up to probation services. She has also entered a guilty plea to theft from the Atlantic Superstore, a business she is already prohibited from entering which resulted in an additional breach.

Federal Crown attorney Bronwyn Duffy said Hatfield is currently living with her mother and is doing better than in the past, but still struggles with a drug addiction.

She admitted to the court that she was addicted to bath salts for a year in 2012 and would use them again if she had the chance.

Duffy said considering Hatfield’s unfavourable track record with reporting to court and probation services, she would benefit from a mandatory in-house treatment program.

Provincial Crown attorney Jody McNeill agreed with Duffy saying that Hatfield’s lengthy past criminal record and addiction problems spell out the need for an in-house treatment program.

Hatfield’s record includes eight theft convictions, eight breaches of probation orders, nine fraud convictions and 18 prior convictions for false pretense.

He asked the judge to consider a custodial sentence of 15 months followed by 12 months’ probation.

“A conditional sentence order is not appropriate,” McNeill said.

However, defence lawyer Stephen Robertson said his client is making positive changes in her life and is ready to take control of her addiction by entering an intensive program in Quebec.

He said life has not been kind to Hatfield and her struggles with addiction and commitment are a result of these hardships.

“She and her family moved 53 times while growing up and that many times is one step away from being homeless,” he said. “She was the only native girl in schools and was bullied because of it and when she went to native schools she didn’t fit in. She was a fish out of water.”

However, he believes with strict restrictions for her to report to court until she completes this intensive treatment program, she could be a good candidate for a conditional sentence order.

Hatfield acknowledged that she has let the court down in the past, but she has taken some recent steps to make a difference in her life.

“I have changed in the last few months,” she said. “I am trying to get help and I can do it.”

Geographic location: Quebec

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