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Man jailed for breaking into pub

Terrence McEachern
Northern News Services
Published Friday, February 18, 2011

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - A Yellowknife man who scaled the steel gate and was caught by staff while he was hiding behind the bar in the Top Knight after business hours was sentenced to two months in jail on Feb. 15.

Employees at the downstairs Black Knight pub noticed the motion detection alarm system had been activated in the upstairs Top Knight part of the building while the bar was closed around 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 1, 2010.

Crown prosecutor Janice Walsh said two staff members went upstairs and found Jacob Griep, 27, hiding behind the bar.

When he spotted the two staff members, Griep tried to escape by fleeing the same way he broke into the bar - by scaling the steel gate at the bottom of the stairs. However, when he got to the bottom of the stairs, one of the bartenders was waiting for him, said Walsh. The RCMP arrived a short while later and arrested the culprit, who was charged with mischief and breach of probation.

Walsh said Griep's criminal record is "very long and unfortunately very similar" to the offence, with numerous property crimes and failures to comply with court orders. At the time of the offence, he was on a three-year probation order that began on Feb. 27, 2008. Walsh asked Judge Bernadette Schmaltz to impose a jail term in the range of three to five months for both charges.

Griep's lawyer, Jay Bran, said his client has had a difficult upbringing and last attended school in Grade 9. Bran added that Griep is a "self-admitted alcoholic," although it wasn't revealed to the court whether Griep was intoxicated at the time of the offence.

Bran conceded that, even though there was "very little disruption to the Top Knight" and that nothing was taken or damaged, given the circumstances, custody was appropriate. He asked for a jail term of two to three months.

Schmaltz rejected the Crown's sentencing recommendation, saying it "wasn't appropriate," and sentenced Griep to 30 days for the mischief charge and another 30 days for the breach of probation. She didn't impose a probation order since he is already on probation.

Griep chose not to address the court when asked.

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