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'Screencutter' granted full parole for sentence from string of break-ins in P.E.I.

<span>n January, RCMP released this security camera photo of a man breaking into a home in the Stratford area.</span>
A P.E.I. man who came to be known as the “screencutter” after a string of break-ins that landed him a nine-year prison sentence has been granted full parole. - SaltWire file photo

A P.E.I. man who came to be known as the “screencutter” after a string of break-ins that landed him a nine-year prison sentence has been granted full parole.

In a recent decision, the Parole Board of Canada said it believed Richard Joseph Arsenault was making the necessary lifestyle changes to live a pro-social existence and has been making changes that mitigate his risk to reoffend.

The board granted Arsenault full parole after successful completion of day parole.

Arsenault was sentenced in 2016 for wearing a mask while committing an offence, possessing stolen property and four counts of break and enter.

RCMP Sgt. Leann Butler and Charlottetown Police Services Deputy Chief Brad MacConnell stand behind some of the items a joint task force recovered from the thief that has became known as the screencutter. Richard Joseph Arsenault was recently granted full parole. - SaltWire Network
RCMP Sgt. Leann Butler and Charlottetown Police Services Deputy Chief Brad MacConnell stand behind some of the items a joint task force recovered from the thief that has became known as the screencutter. Richard Joseph Arsenault was recently granted full parole. - SaltWire Network

He initially pleaded not guilty but later changed his plea after several witnesses had already testified during his trial.

Those witnesses included victims whose homes he had broken into through windows that had the screens cut and removed.

Arsenault’s thefts included stealing children’s piggy banks, and a search of his home in Traveller’s Rest turned up more than $45,000 in cash.

In its latest report, the parole board said Arsenault had an “extensive” criminal history that started at an early age involving a variety of offences, including thefts, arson, break and enters, armed robbery, attempted robbery, possession of a weapon and careless use of a firearm.

The board said file information showed Arsenault had some behavioural issues during his first federal sentence, which led to more than 30 charges.

SECOND SENTENCE

Arsenault served a second federal sentence without incident prior to the most recent, and the board said he didn’t have any charges or segregation time during his current sentence.

He participated in many programs during his current sentence, and the board said a psychological assessment completed in May 2019 found his general risk to reoffend in a violent manner was in the moderate range.

Arsenault has been on day parole since September 2019 without incident, and the board said his plan for full parole is to live with his spouse.

His long-term plan is to build cottage rentals on his land, the board said.

The board said it believes Arsenault is making the necessary lifestyle changes to live a “pro-social existence".

With the full parole, the board imposed several conditions on Arsenault, including that he not consume, buy or possess alcohol and that he not have any contact with his victims.

Because the board said gambling contributed to Arsenault committing the most recent offences, he is also banned from any places where the primary source of income comes from gambling.

Twitter.com/ryanrross

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