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P.E.I. man who escaped from courthouse jailed on six charges

P.E.I. Provincial Court sign in Charlottetown.
P.E.I. Provincial Court sign in Charlottetown. - SaltWire Network
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

A Charlottetown man who escaped from the P.E.I. Supreme Courthouse after leaving an unlocked holding cell was sentenced Wednesday to 90 days in jail on multiple charges.

Justin James Reynolds, 34, appeared before Judge John Douglas in provincial court in Charlottetown for sentencing on charges that included escaping lawful custody, mischief, fraud and failing to attend court.

Reading from an agreed statement of facts, Crown attorney Lisa Goulden told the court that on Jan. 30, Reynolds was in the holding cell area inside the P.E.I. Supreme Courthouse.

Prisoners are kept in the cells before and after their court appearances until they are taken to the Provincial Correctional Centre.

Goulden said Reynolds and another prisoner left their cell after seeing that it was unlocked.

Still in shackles, Reynolds damaged a door that was magnetically locked and the two escaped from the holding cell area.

The court heard the co-accused returned to the courthouse soon after, but Reynolds made it to Upper Hillsborough Street where the police found him.

Goulden told the court that on Sept. 17, 2019, Reynolds also defrauded Scotiabank of more than $2,000 using an ATM.

In another incident, Reynolds and a woman went to an apartment building on Nov. 22, 2019 where they were caught on video using a screwdriver to pick door locks.

The court heard the two went into laundry rooms both times.

Reynolds was also charged with possessing stolen property after he and the same woman sold about 500 cards from the game Magic: The Gathering to a Charlottetown store on Dec. 28, 2019.

Those cards were reported stolen from a vehicle nearby.

Reynolds also breached his probation twice and failed to appear in court twice.

Before hearing his sentence, Reynolds addressed the court and said he wished he could turn back time.

Reynolds said he has been struggling with addictions and finding affordable housing for many years.

He also said he was done with the type of life he was living and he apologized to everyone involved.

Douglas sentenced Reynolds on all of the charges he was facing, except for being unlawfully in a dwelling and possessing stolen property.

He also gave Reynolds credit of 49.5 days for time spent in custody since his arrest.

Reynold will serve the sentence on weekends and will be on probation for 15 months after his release.

He will be back in court for sentencing on the rest of the charges on April 8.

Ryan.ross@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/ryanrross

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