Kelsey Houle (17) is now a reluctant poster boy for young offenders who get “big boy time” for doing “big boy crime.”
Houle received an adult sentence of six (6) years incarceration Monday morning from Judge Lee Ann Martin for a November 2011 gang initiation Robbery spree that saw him terrorize six youthful victims with a loaded handgun. Houle was only fifteen (15) years old, was on Probation and was wanted on an arrest warrant at the time of the offences.
(Although Houle technically remains a Young Offender, his identity is no longer protected by the YCJA as he’s now received an Adult sentence.)
On May 26, 2013, The Police Insider published an article celebrating Judge Martin’s decision to elevate Houle to adult status for sentencing purposes. The psychological trauma inflicted on the victims was recognized by Judge Martin who stated; “The consequential harm to the young victims is significant, none of the victims will ever feel safe in their own neighbourhood.”
In making her decision Judge Martin acknowledged the shortcomings of the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) in dealing with hard-core young offender gangsters.
“This is quite frankly a case that cries out for a strong message of deterrence and denunciation,” Judge Martin said during the sentencing.
Unfortunately, as we’ve seen in many cases lately, Judge Martin’s six (6) year sentence is not really a six-year sentence at all, not after she gave Houle credit for nineteen (19) months time served and an additional six (6) months bonus for a systemic delay in getting his case disposed of.
The soft Justice discounts mean Houle will be eligible for statutory release in twenty-three (23) months.
The Crown asked for a six (6) year sentence with no soft Justice discounts.
On June 7, 2013 The Police Insider published a story called “Canadian Justice Perversion,” an article that highlighted a twenty-one (21) year sentence for a violent rapist that was gutted after the application of several soft Canadian Justice principles. After the dust settled, the unrepentant rapist will see no more than eight (8) years behind bars for his horrific crimes.
(The story has recorded over 12,671 views since it was published.)
These stories underline the need for drastic sentencing reform.
THE POLICE INSIDER – “Canadian Justice Perversion.”
THE POLICE INSIDER – “Manitoba Judges Getting the Picture.”
WINNIPEG SUN JAMES TURNER – “Six Years for Teen who Cycled Around City Robbing Youths at Gunpoint.”