Man who gave sleeping couple a fright sent to jail
An intruder who awoke a couple after he crawled over their young daughter, who was sleeping on their bedroom floor, was sentenced Thursday to five months in jail.
Christopher Ruston, 33, of Chatsworth pleaded guilty in the Ontario Court of Justice to unlawfully entering the house, and to possession of methamphetamine Oct. 9.
Grey County Crown attorney Peter Leger said the couple was sleeping in bed, while their young daughter slept on the floor beside them. A young son slept in another bedroom.
The woman awoke to see a male figure crawling across the bedroom floor, alongside their bed after 2:30 a.m. After considering whether it was her son, she realized it was an intruder.
She screamed for her husband who awoke and asked Ruston who he was. Ruston identified himself as “Christopher” and said he was looking for the door. The husband pushed him out of the bedroom, towards the door and out of the house.
Justice Julia Morneau banned publication of the names of the family members to prevent the children from being identified. The youngster was shaken but unharmed.
Ruston was seen heading toward Highway 10. Police found him not far away. He lived nearby and police were familiar with him. The husband who confronted Ruston told police he believed Ruston was high.
Police arrested him for breaching probation and when frisked police found a bag of what Ruston told them was crystal meth. The Crown didn’t proceed on a breach of probation charge. Ruston told police he entered the house to steal.
Federal prosecutor Elizabeth Barefoot said Ruston has a record of related convictions. He possessed less than one gram of meth, she said. She called for 15 days in jail on top of the five months sought by Leger.
Leger told Morneau it would have been terrifying to discover Ruston in the house. He remarked in “other jurisdictions,” such a discovered may have been dealt with differently by those who found him.
Leger added Ruston was “lucky he walked out of there without a scratch.”
Ruston told his lawyer he attributed his actions to stupidity. Morneau asked him if he was a meth addict but Ruston denied it, then said he’s worked all his life. He also told his lawyer he was “a little high and drunk” at the time.
Morneau noted Ruston’s criminal record included prior convictions for being unlawfully in a dwelling and numerous break and enters. Morneau told him meth was taking over his life.
She imposed a five-month term of jail, which she counted as 150 days, less 129 days of enhanced presentence custody, which left 21 days to serve. She imposed no further time for the drug possession.
Probation for 12 months will follow his release, with victim non-association terms and counselling for substance abuse and anything else identified by his probation officer.
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