A 26-year-old man will be spending a portion of his Conditional Sentence Order (CSO) behind bars. 

During Moose Jaw Provincial Court on Thursday, Rhett Busch pleaded guilty and was sentenced by Judge David Chow to 60 days in prison for two counts of breaching curfew and 30 days to be served concurrently for stealing gas. 

Busch was out on a two years less a day CSO from September of 2022. He had already served 16 months of that order and he will now serve 60 days of that order in custody. 

On Jan. 3 at about 11:30 p.m., police did a curfew check on Busch and talked to his mother who said he was not home and didn’t know where he was. Then on Jan. 4 at around 2 p.m., Busch attended the Esso gas station on Manitoba Street and drove off without paying for $80 in gas. He was followed by a witness and police pulled him over heading eastbound on Highway 1. 

Busch was taken into custody and appeared in court on Jan. 5. He was released by the consent of the Crown because of commitments he had and educational opportunities. 

Crown prosecutor Rob Parker said his understanding was that there was a conflict in the home and Busch had to leave because it wasn’t a good situation at the time. 

“He should have made his supervisor aware of the situation and he didn’t,” Parker said. 

On Jan. 11, police conducted another curfew check at around 12:54 a.m. and he once again failed to present himself. 

Parker argued that the Conditional Sentence Order should have been terminated and that Busch should spend the remainder of the order in custody. 

Parker said the courts need to take CSO breaches seriously as he must explain to victims the concept of a CSO, a jail sentence that can be served in the community under certain criteria. He said a jail sentence would maintain the confidence of the public in the judicial system. 

The Crown also asked for 30 days for the theft of gas to be served concurrently. 

Legal Aid lawyer Suzanne Lalonde agreed with the 30 days for the theft but disagreed with the Crown’s submissions for the curfew breaches. 

She said Busch had served 16 months of his CSO without incident including six months under a 24-hour curfew. Issues arose when Busch moved in with his parents to pursue an education. He got into a conflict with his dad and left the house and was sleeping in his car around the block on Jan. 3. 

“The Crown is right, he should have handled this differently,” Lalonde said. 

Lalonde said she was told by Busch that it was cold out and he was running out of gas, so he went to the Esso to get gas and was driving to a friend’s place to get money to pay for it. 

The second breach of curfew on Jan. 11 resulted from another conflict between Busch and his father in which Busch was kicked out of the house. 

Lalonde said, upon release, Busch plans to live with his partner on a farm. Lalonde proposed 60 days in custody for the CSO breaches. 

Judge Chow said he found it “idiotic” that Busch was going to a friend’s house to get money to pay for the stolen gas. 

As for the CSO breach, he agreed with Parker that those offences need to be taken seriously as they are essential jail terms. 

However, Chow was concerned about completely terminating the CSO because Busch had successfully navigated 16 months of the order and the breach was related to a conflict in the family home, so he sided with the defence in his sentencing. 

Busch was also ordered to pay a $100 victim surcharge.