Man gets seven months’ jail for theft, breaching orders

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PICTOU – A Union Centre man has been sentenced to seven months in jail after pleading guilty to breaching court orders and thefts.

Earl Frederick Gratto, 38, was sentenced in Pictou Provincial Court Tuesday after pleading guilty to three theft charges and four breaches of court orders.

The theft charges involved items from Central Supplies in Stellarton in November 2012, and theft from Sobeys in February. He was also charged with breaching court orders during both of these incidents in addition to another breach charge laid between December 2012 and February 2013 for failing to report to his probation officer. Gratto also faced an additional theft charge from March from an individual and another breach of probation charge.

Defence lawyer Doug Lloy said Gratto has dealt with substance abuse issues over a long period of time, but when he is drug-free, he is a hard worker.

“A lot of his problems revolve around drugs and when he is clean, he is a good, stable worker and when he isn’t, he gets in trouble,” he said.

Judge Del Atwood sentenced Gratto to one month in jail on each of the seven charges, but he said he would not be sentencing him to any probation order when he gets out of jail.

He said probation is designed to help a person with rehabilitation, but based on Gratto’s past criminal record and many probation sentences, he didn’t feel another probationary stint would do him much good.

“The court can only take you so far and you have to take yourself the rest of the way,” Atwood said.

In addition to the jail sentence, Gratto must also pay $200 in victim surcharge fines and $437 in restitution to Central Building Supplies.

Organizations: Sobeys

Geographic location: Stellarton

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