A Chilliwack man convicted of a string of identity thefts is calling his arrest and guilty plea a “rehabilitative moment.”
Counsel for Gregory James Samuel Cromarty asked the court last week to release the 45-year-old on time served for the 12 charges to which he pleaded guilty.
“Mr. Cromarty acted out of desperation and regrets the harm to all individuals,” defence lawyer Rebecca Gill said at the continuation of his sentencing hearing on Nov. 23.
By that date, Cromarty had spent 249 days in custody, for which he was credited at 1.5-to-one for 374 days jail. Crown is asking for a sentence of 18 months in jail.
Judge Wendy Young was scheduled to decide on the sentence on Tuesday after The Progress went to press.
The court also heard at the sentencing hearing that Cromarty’s co-accused, Virginia Myles, was due to give birth to the couple’s second child the next day.
Cromarty was emotional in the prisoner’s box as his lawyer discussed his addictions to opioids and methamphetamine and his plan to seek help at a Hope for Freedom Society drug recovery house in Maple Ridge.
Further to the request of the court for his immediate release to the recovery facility, Cromarty — rather than the Crown — asked the court to order he do 40-or-more hours of community service.
“Mr. Cromarty wants to do something to give back,” Gill said, adding that he wants to go to the recovery house in Chilliwack, in part to distance himself from his contacts locally.
Cromarty was originally charged with 32 offences in connection with a crime spree in the first three months of this year where he fraudulently purchased $10,000 worth of merchandise, defrauding or attempting to defraud 27 different people.
Myles, who is not in custody, faced 15 charges and pleaded guilty to eight of them on Oct. 20. She is scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 15.
After a search warrant was obtained for the house where they lived, police found keys, an embossing stamp, a set of licence plates, documents and ID in the names of various persons, an HP printer, and many cellphones.
All items Cromarty later told police were used to create the fake IDs, and all available at retail stores.
He told police it was easy “and that the police should have ‘somebody like us’ working for the RCMP.”