January 22nd, 2021

One-year sentence handed out for home invasion

By Lethbridge Herald on July 21, 2015.

A Coaldale teen has been sent to jail for his role in a violent home invasion last year.
Jake Jesse Blazek, 19, was sentenced to one year in provincial custody Monday after pleading guilty to two charges. Two other teens, younger than 18 at the time of the incident, were given a six-month deferred custody and supervision order during an earlier court appearance.
Defence lawyer Tracy Hembroff told provincial court judge Gerald DeBow the accused had been using cocaine heavily before he and two friends decided to enter a Coaldale home and demand drugs from an occupant. They wore dark clothing and masks, carried bats and pepper spray, and entered through an unlocked door.
“It was a very ill-conceived, irrational plan,” she said.
The attempted invasion, Hembroff said, resulted in Blazek suffering multiple injuries when the intended victim defended himself with a baseball bat. Her client has since been under treatment for a number of physical and psychological issues.
Blazek’s family remains strongly supportive, she added, and Hembroff is “optimistic for his future” after he serves his time.
Crown prosecutor Vaughan Hartigan, in a joint submission with Hembroff, told the judge a one-year sentence is at “the very low end” for an incident of this kind. In more serious cases. “there could be penitentiary time” exceeding two years.
The accused had no previous criminal charges, however, and he was co-operative with police when they arrived. But because he’d already turned 18, the prosecutor said, Blazek is subject to more severe punishment than his under-aged friends.
The judge, after accepting guilty pleas of break-and-enter, and assault with a weapon, concurred with the joint submission. He also accepted a victim impact statement from a woman who was also living in the home, describing her anxieties since the incident and indicating she’d lost employment income during its aftermath.
In addition to his time in jail, Blazek was ordered to pay the woman $175 in restitution and prohibited from possession of firearms or ammunition for 10 years.

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