A man who exposed himself at least twice to teenaged females working in the drive-thru window at Tim Hortons in Summerland was sentenced Monday to 20 months’ probation.
Bradley Dustin Thew, 37, stood trial earlier this year in provincial court in Penticton and was convicted of a single count of committing an indecent act in November 2019.
In her reasons for sentence, Judge Ellen Burdett said Thew had been visiting the coffee shop almost daily without incident, but “appears to have targetted” the two victims – who were ages 14 and 18, respectively, at the time of the offence – “for his own sexual gratification.”
However, the judge also cited as mitigating factors Thew’s lack of a prior criminal record, good employment history and other evidence that suggested the incidents were “totally out of character” for him.
Conditions of Thew’s probation ban him from having any contact with the victims or going within 10 metres of any Tim Hortons location.
The 20-month suspended sentence was a far cry from the 30-day jail term sought by Crown counsel Ann Lerchs, who pointed to the “unusual nature” and “sexual component” of the offences, plus cited a statement from the Tim Hortons owner, who reported the employees “were left traumatized.”
Defence counsel Wade Jensen, who argued for the suspended sentence and probation, claimed many such indecent acts involve full nudity and masturbation, which wasn’t the case with Thew.
“In the grand scheme of things, this is at the low end of these kinds of offences,” said Jensen, who also noted his client was suffering from anxiety and depression at the time of the incidents due in part to losing a lucrative job in Fort McMurray.