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Sooke man, 21, sentenced 90 days for axe attack

May 25 2012

A 21-year-old Sooke man has been sentenced to 90 days in jail for breaking into a neighbour's home last year and trashing it with an axe.

Last October, Alexander Conte pleaded guilty to breaking into a home at 6824 West Coast Rd. in the early hours of May 20, 2011, and causing mischief.

At Conte's sentencing hearing Thursday, Victoria provincial court Judge Evan Blake did not order Conte to pay restitution for the more than $5,000 in damage he caused.

Conte is in the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Port Coquitlam and has no real prospect of making restitution, Blake noted.

Crown prosecutor Melissa Murray told the court that during the evening of May 19 and morning of May 20, Conte and others were indulging in excessive drug and alcohol use at the house on West Coast Road.

Conte, who was 19 at the time, became angry at the owner of the house, threw rocks and broke a window. Sooke RCMP arrested Conte on the lawn.

Conte's defence lawyer, Bill Heflin, said his client told the officers he intended to seek retribution and that they should try to stop him.

Conte returned to the house about 6 a.m., kicked in the door with an axe, smashed windows and damaged doors, causing more than $5,000 in damage.

"It's obvious from the pre-sentence and psychiatric reports that Conte did have significant mental health and drug issues," said Blake. "No doubt the two were somewhat intertwined. It would appear Conte's emotional and drug problems were getting the better of him."

ldickson@timescolonist.com

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