A young man from North Vancouver who was captured on video looting the Sears store in downtown Vancouver during the Stanley Cup hockey riot last year has been handed a two-month conditional sentence to be served at home.
"You're getting a chance to redeem yourself here," Judge David St. Pierre of the Vancouver provincial court told Jacob Pateman, 19, as he handed down his sentence Friday morning. "
The sentence means Pateman - the first of the accused rioters from the North Shore to be sentenced - will have a criminal record but will not spend time in a real jail. Instead, he will serve his sentence at home under a curfew, with orders not to drink and not to be in any bars.
St. Pierre noted although Pateman won't go to jail, the notoriety of his actions during the riot will follow him. "Thanks to Google he will not easily escape this spotlight," St. Pierre wrote in his decision.
Despite that, he told Pateman, "You can make amends. . . . You shouldn't let that define you."
Pateman pleaded guilty May 11 to participating in a riot in connection with the melee that broke out June 15 last year following the Vancouver Canucks' loss to the Boston Bruins in game seven of the Stanley Cup finals.
Video showing Pateman - then 18 - going into the Sears store through the store's smashed glass doors, grabbing cosmetics from a display case, then running out again was played in court during a sentencing hearing in August.
On the night the riot broke out, Pateman watched the hockey game on TV while drinking with friends before the group decided to head downtown. There, rioters were lighting cars on fire and ripping trees out to use as battering rams to smash doors.
While downtown, Pateman met up with an ex-girlfriend. The couple was outside Sears when a crowd of rioters smashed the windows and glass doors and swarmed into the store to loot it.
Pateman made the "fateful decision" to follow his ex-girlfriend into the store, said St. Pierre. Pateman grabbed fake nails and cologne from smashed display cases before running out of the store.
The judge described the riot as "clearly one of the worst modern spectacles of civil disorder this province has known."
In addition to the conditional sentence, St. Pierre put Pateman on 15 months probation and ordered him to do 100 hours of community service. "You can't let any of these circumstances follow you," the judge told Pateman. "You've got to be better. You've got to stay better."
Outside the court, Pateman's lawyer Brent Anderson said sending Pateman to jail wouldn't have benefited anyone. "Society has an interest in his future," he said.