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B.C. repeat offender sentenced for threats, break and enter, mischief

Yves Gerard Joseph Castonguay's criminal record includes about 150 convictions.
Defence lawyer Mark Swartz told the court his client had a life-altering event when he took some fentanyl that contained some form of tranquilizer.

A Vancouver man with a lengthy criminal record will be released after one day in jail plus time served after pleading guilty to uttering threats, break and enter, mischief and breach of probation.

Yves Gerard Joseph Castonguay had pleaded guilty Oct. 16 to the offences before Vancouver Provincial Court Judge Laura Bakan. He will also serve a year’s probation.

Crown prosecutor Louise Gauld told Bakan that, on Jan. 9, a complainant heard early morning noise in a residence courtyard on the 1800-block of Crowe Street and saw a man trying to open doors.

Gauld said the man got into the apartment building common area, damaged the concierge desk and threw things around.

The second charge to which Castonguay pleaded guilt was theft under $5,000 and uttering threats at the Granville Street London Drugs store Jan. 7.

Gauld said Castonguay stole several boxes of jewelry valued at $320.

When confronted by a store security officer, she said Castonguay threw the merchandise and said, “I don’t give a f**k. I’ll cut you.”

He fled on a bicycle but was apprehended a short distance away.

Castonguay pleaded guilty to breaking and entering into a building on the 400-block of W. 8th Avenue. Gauld said, along with an unidentified man, he broke a window into a mailroom. Castonguay was identified from CCTV footage.

The breach of a probation order arose from an Aug. 7 incident at the Vancouver Art Gallery involving an altercation with two other men.

Castonguay said the men had pushed over his wheelchair. He was found to have a knife in a bag, a breach of an earlier sentence probation order.

In all, Bakan sentenced Castonguay to one day in jail, a credited 180 days time served and a year’s probation.

“These sorts of offences really do cause fear in the community and need to be deterred,” Bakan said.

The judge heard Castonguay had a difficult upbringing and has suffered brain injuries and addiction problems.

Defence lawyer Mark Swartz told the court his client had a life-altering event when he took some fentanyl that contained some form of tranquilizer. The event left him with nerve damage that could see him in a wheelchair for life.

Swartz added Castonguay is now on methadone to curb the addiction issues he has had since childhood.

Prior record

In December 2021, Castonguay pleaded guilty to mischief related to hateful graffiti on Vancouver’s Chinese Cultural Centre.

There, Crown prosecutor Mark Crisp told Judge Harbans Dhillon that Castonguay’s criminal record comprised 148 convictions, including 50-plus property crimes, 24 crimes of violence and three dozen breaches or court directions.

In that case, he was sentenced to 79 days in addition to a credited 161 days spent in pre-trial custody.