May 23rd, 2017

Taber man gets jail for offences


By Shurtz, Delon on April 21, 2017.

Lawyer says client struggles with addictions

Delon Shurtz

Lethbridge Herald

dshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A Taber man will spend several months behind bars after being sentenced for numerous criminal offences, including assault causing bodily harm.

In addition to the more serious charge, Andrew George Blasetti pleaded guilty Thursday in Lethbridge provincial court to charges of fraud under $5,000, theft under $5,000, mischief, failing to appear in court, and break an enter, for which he was sentenced to eight months in jail.

Court was told Blasetti, 37, attacked a man as he was walking along a street in Taber about 4:30 a.m. Feb. 16. Blasetti struck the man twice in the face, likely with a flashlight, and after the man stood up and ran away, Blasetti chased him, knocked him to the ground again and continued to rain blows on him.

The victim sustained several injuries and required surgery to repair a fractured jaw.

The rest of the charges stem from incidents in 2016, the first of which occurred May 29 when Blasetti and another person were seen entering a residential yard and shed. The following July he entered his father’s residence and, looking for a place to sleep, entered his father’s trailer without permission

Blasetti also twice filled his vehicle with gasoline at a gas station and left without paying; stole $80 worth of goods from another gas station; defrauded his sister of $1,100 by using her cheques; and defrauded his wife’s grandparents of $2,790 after he stole cheques from them.

Blasetti, who has previous convictions for thefts, possession of stolen property and break-ins, struggles with addictions, his lawyer said. And although he remained clean between 2011 and 2016, he fell of the wagon, which led to the offences.

Court was told Blasetti paid back his sister and made restitution for the goods he took from the gas station, but he has yet to pay back the bank which made good on the cheques he stole from his wife’s grandparents.

Blasetti will be on probation for a year after he is released from jail, a condition of which includes paying back the bank. He was also ordered not to have any contact with the man he attacked, and he is prohibited from possessing certain weapons and firearms for 10 years, and others for life. He must also submit a sample of his DNA for the National DNA Databank.

Although sentenced to eight months in jail, Blasetti was given credit for the equivalent of 108 days he already spent in custody.

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