A drug addict described as the “beast of Rutland” was sentenced Wednesday to seven months in jail for a string of petty crimes.
Elrich Dyck confessed to thefts that included a $3.99 used wireless speaker from Value Village, $5.88 of food from Save-On-Foods, a $36 bottle of rum from Liquor Depot, and taking pop, water and coffee from a Shell gas station.
In addition to the thefts and breach of probation offences, he also pleaded guilty to common assault for spitting in the face of a Save-On-Foods manager who chased him outside the store.
Dyck also threw someone’s iPhone down a storm sewer and smashed the window of a car parked near the Queensway bus loop.
“I should act better for my age,” Dyck, 29, told provincial court Judge Jeremy Guild before sentencing. “I just want to get some counselling. Sorry for wasting your time in court today, your honour.”
Guild accepted the joint sentencing submission from Crown counsel Jean-Benoit Deschamps and defence lawyer Grant Gray.
“The fact you want to pursue treatment and counselling, those are really good things,” Guild told Dyck, who appeared in court via a video link from jail, where he has been held since his arrest in June.
Court heard Dyck has been addicted to methamphetamine, which Guild described as “straight poison.”
Factoring extra time for pre-sentence custody, Dyck will spend about two more months in jail before release.
Gray said Dyck had a Grade 6 education, a learning disability, and had been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Dyck appeared calm and attentive during the proceeding, pleading guilty to each charge. It was a marked contrast to the last time he was in a Kelowna courtroom.
In May, he was called to give evidence at the murder trial of his friend Steven Pirko.
Pirko and Dyck had been walking along Highway 33 in Rutland in January 2014 when Dyck got into a fight with another man, Chris Ausman. Pirko intervened in the fight, fatally striking Ausman from behind with a hammer.
Pirko was convicted by a jury of second-degree murder in June but has not yet been sentenced.
When he was on the stand in the Pirko trial, Dyck was combative with Crown counsel David Grabavac. Dyck laughed and sneered occasionally, and wondered if a jug of water before him had been poisoned.
During that trial, it emerged that some people in Rutland, including Dyck’s own father, knew him as “the beast of Rutland.”