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B.C man breaks into senior’s home, demands she make him a sandwich

Randal Graham Petersen pleads guilty in Penticton sentenced to 92 days for multiple offences
Pixabay image by Pam Carter

A Summerland man who broke into a senior’s apartment and asked her to make him a sandwich will spend another 92 days in jail.

Randal Graham Petersen appeared via video in Penticton Provincial Court on Jan. 24, to plead guilty to several cases against him.

In addition to the shoplifting and theft cases from businesses up and down the valley in 2022, Petersen also pleaded guilty to a more serious case.

On March 6, 2023, he broke into an apartment building in Penticton, following reports from residents about an individual in the area trying to get in.

Petersen had pushed past the 86-year-old resident, after she answered the door thinking that the person on the other side was a 93-year-old friend who lived in the building, before starting to go through her things and sitting on her bed.

“He was in there for a long period of time, even to the point of telling her he was and hungry and making her make him a sandwich,” Crown said. “She was frightened about trying to do anything.”

Petersen was later arrested after leaving the building with items that belonged to the victim.

The Crown noted that Petersen’s guilty plea spared the court the costs of a trial, and also spared the victim from being required to testify.

READ ALSO: Visitor arrested at Penticton Sikh Temple after aggressively swinging 2 swords

The 86-year-old victim no longer lives in B.C., and Crown noted that they would be needed to testify remotely which may be difficult.

The woman’s victim impact statement noted that she no longer felt safe living on her own, and as a result, she had to give up her independence.

The victim’s vulnerability was noted as a large aggravating factor, but it was noted that Petersen had a number of mitigating factors, including completion of five certificate programs through the John Howard Society since being taken into custody, as well as vocational programs.

The judge noted Petersen’s remorse after speaking extensively with him about his circumstances, particularly in the battle he has with his addictions, which were exacerbated after he received a serious hernia 2.5 years ago.

“It felt like somebody was stabbing me in the stomach continuously, the pains were so bad,” Petersen told the court. “I was three months sober prior to that night, and in the evening I was just trying to medicate and I made the wrong choices. I told my daughter that every day I’m on the phone with her and I wish I could turn things around and I wish could apologize to that lady.”

Petersen told the court that he didn’t remember much of that evening due to his alcohol use. Long-term abuse of the substance had left him with multiple health complications including issues with his leg.

“I’m going to put it bluntly, you’re in a fight for your life,” the judge said. “I think that you’ve had a long time to think about what you did and you’ve taken responsibility for it. You’ve expressed sincere remorse for what you did and a real commitment to your daughter and ex-partner. I want you to be healthy and to win this fight for your life.”

Several thousand dollars of items were shoplifted by Petersen, however, in several instances either all or some of the items were recovered.

Loss prevention officers, security footage, and a police officer identified Petersen in the various shoplifting cases.

Between the various cases, Petersen received an effective 92-day jail sentence after taking into account the time he has served since being arrested in March of 2023.

He was also fined $500 for a Motor Vehicle Act violation and given 18 months to pay it after release.

Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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