Four youth escape 56 break and enter charges

PEMBROKE – A court ruling has freed a group of siblings from facing 56 charges related to an October, 2018 crime spree.

Last October, Andrew MacDonald and siblings Brandon, Jacob and Alisha Thomson were charged with numerous counts of break and enter and some drug offenses following a massive crime spree in Renfrew County. By the time the trial started in January of 2019 there were 56 charges before the court.

Lawyers representing the siblings requested an 11(b) Jordan application, arguing the case had gone on for too long. The request was granted on Monday afternoon (Aug. 12) at the courthouse in Pembroke.

The reason Justice March gave for granting the application was because under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Canada all accused have a right to a trial in a reasonable time frame. Justice March said the charter serves to protect everyone, “even the most undeserving members of our community.”

The decision has resulted in no charges for the four individuals.

The defense counsel for Jacob, Ottawa lawyer Paolo Giancaterino, says this case was expected to last until at least April of 2020. He says the case would have involved 10 to 15 more witnesses and lasted a total of 30 months from the time the four were charged.

Giancaterino says he feels relieved for his client after a lengthy court process. He says Jacob has been under strict conditions since December of 2017. He’s now working full time and his lawyer commended him for following his conditions and positively contributing to society. Andrew remains in custody on an unrelated matter to this case, but there are no more conditions for Brandon, Jacob and Alisha.

  • Courtesy Oldies 107.7 FM