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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:26 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:33 pm
Posts: 425
Location: York, Upper Canada
Teens ordered to pay for cemetery vandalism

Perth judge also imposes house arrest on pair

By Ian Sutton, The Ottawa CitizenFebruary 22, 2009

OTTAWA — “Quite frankly, I’m glad it’s over, that justice was delivered and we can move on,” Perth Mayor John Fenik said after two young men in their late teens, charged with vandalism at the town’s Old Burial Grounds, were sentenced in connection with the crime.

September’s desecration of close to two dozen gravestones at the historic cemetery resulted in a flood of outrage from residents of Perth and across the province.

John Pigeon, 19, of Perth was ordered Friday to pay $6,000 in restitution as a condition of two years’ probation imposed in Perth court by Judge Stephen March, who said the vandalism demonstrated “a complete lack of respect for the community.”

Jesse Murphy, 18, of Tay Valley Township, voluntarily offered to pay the same amount of restitution. On his own volition, he had already performed 240 hours of community service after the pair was arrested by Perth police four days following the incident. Both men pleaded guilty in December to charges of mischief over $5,000.

Unlike Pigeon, no schedule for payment of restitution was imposed by the court on Murphy. He will be required, however, to serve an additional 200 hours of community service over 20 months.

March told him he is “not on as tight a leash” as Pigeon, who was 18 and on release under a peace bond at the time of his arrest.

March told Pigeon he was technically imposing a jail sentence on him, “but you’re allowed to serve it in the community.”

The young men are also required to serve 60 days of house arrest, under strict conditions, including a ban on the use of alcohol or drugs. They are barred from associating with each other during that period. Neither had a prior criminal record.

The two had jumped a fence and smashed the gravestones at the historic cemetery off Highway 43 after consuming a bottle of liquor. Twenty-two headstones — some from the early 1800s — were badly damaged, many beyond repair.

In a victim impact statement submitted last October, Fenik said Perth citizens had expressed to him “a sense of fear, sadness and loss” over the “senseless act.”

Crown Attorney Doug Brown described the crime as “an extremely serious offence” committed by “a couple of drunken young men.” Any sentence must deter others from similar acts, he said.

Both men were also ordered to write a letter of apology to the town.

Pigeon must pay $5,000 restitution within 60 days and the remaining $1,000 within six months. Failure to pay will result in jail, the judge told him.

Ian Sutton is news director at radio station Lake88 in Perth.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 6:56 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:35 am
Posts: 3
:bom: Just to make certain I have all the details straight, what exactly is Perth to us? why does this particular cemetary have significance?
- Will

PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 11:48 pm
Posts: 370
Location: Upper Canada

Perth was actually established immediately following the War of 1812, circa 1816, specifically as a military town, or x-military town,...depending upon how you look at it. A great majority of it's original settlers were Scottish and Irish - Canadians who had fought during the War of 1812 and when they were pensioned off (and or given half-pay) that's where much of the 50 and 100 acre parcels of land for miltary pensioners was, so that's where they went. It just so happens that an enormous amount of the GLI went there and owned land there and were eventually buried there. The town is also known for having the largest Canadian pioneer burial ground/cemetary. That's the cemetary filled with our soldiers that is in the news as a result of the 2 drunken idiotic wreckless boys.


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