May 25th, 2024

Woman jailed for robbing man at downtown library

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on May 8, 2024.


A 27-year-old woman who injured a man during a violent robbery last year has been sent to jail for six months, narrowly avoiding a considerably longer sentence.

Cherish Summer Scott pleaded guilty Tuesday in Lethbridge court of justice to charges of robbery and being unlawfully in a house, for which the Crown recommended a sentence between 12 and 18 months in custody.

“I would suggest that this matter has a lot in common with a street-mugging style robbery,” Crown Prosecutor James Rouleau told court, noting that type of offence often attracts longer jail sentences.

On Aug. 23, 2023 Scott approached a man who had fallen asleep in the public library downtown and began searching for and touching items on and around the man. When the man awoke he pushed Scott away from him, but she put up a fight and tried to grab the man’s cell phone. She also wrapped her arms around his neck, all of which was caught on video surveillance.

“Miss Scott, at one point, is seen opening (the man’s) fanny pack while mounted on top of him,” Rouleau said. “She throws his wallet over to another male, that male keeps the wallet; Miss Scott is seen during the video punching him with closed fists, the strikes are to the head.”

The other man kicked the victim in the head, as well, and even though he held a large rock over the victim’s head, he didn’t strike him with a hit.

The victim, who was treated at the hospital, told police his cell phone and wallet were stolen, as well as $600 to $1,000 in cash.

A warrant was issued for Scott, and she was arrested the following day.

Two days after the robbery, following Scott’s release from custody, a woman in a home in the 1200 block of 6A Avenue South, caught Scott taking items from inside the front porch of her house.

“Of note, Miss Scott made no threats and was described by the witness as being quite docile,” Rouleau said.

Defence opposed the Crown’s recommended sentence, and suggested Scott’s offences warranted a six-month jail sentence, and said case law indicates that sentences in the range recommended by the Crown often involve significantly more violence and even firearms.

Lethbridge lawyer Darcy Shurtz said Scott, while growing up, witnessed her alcoholic father beat up her mother every day, and she was physically abused by two alcoholic, former spouses, which pushed her to even more fentanyl and methamphetamine abuse. That drug use, court was told, started when she was only 15 years old.

Shurtz said Scott, who had been living on the street, will live with her mother after she is released from jail, and she plans to get treatment for her addiction.

“She is now indicating she’s thinking straight, she’s sober.”

Scott was given credit for the equivalent of 44 days spent in remand custody, which leaves her with four and half months to serve. She will be on probation for 12 months following her release from jail, during which she must obey several conditions, including that she live with her mother and be assessed for treatment and counselling for alcohol and drug abuse, life skills and whatever else may be directed by her probation officer.

Scott is also prohibited from possessing certain weapons for 10 years, and others for life, and she must submit a sample of her DNA for the National DNA Data Bank.

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Guy Lethbridge

I haven’t thought of the library as a safe place to go for some time . Isn’t that sad ?

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