VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – A provincial court judge has tried to lower the number of community service hours he ordered an admitted Stanley Cup rioter to perform out of fairness and a concern about resources.

But he has been blocked by court rules.

Judge Greg Rideout wanted to reduce 25-year-old Robert Snelgrove‘s service hours from 150 to 50, saying he was concerned about setting a precedent for future riot cases since the young man’s crimes were less severe compared to other offences committed during the June 15, 2011 smashup.

Rideout also mentioned worries about court resources when dealing with people on probation, although he says probation staff tell him they can handle the workload.

However, the Crown told Rideout he is blocked by court rules from lowering the service hours on his own.
Snelgrove pleaded guilty to taking part in the riot and break and enter after he stole cosmetics from Sears.  He came forward to police the day after the riot and made several public apologies in the media.
On Tuesday, Rideout handed Snelgrove a five-month conditional sentence along with a fine, the community service order and told him to write an apology to the City of Vancouver.
Snelgrove’s lawyer Chandra Corriveau says she thinks Rideout is trying to do the right thing by reducing the service hours.
“[Snelgrove]‘s already made some reparation to the community,” Corriveau says.  “A number of the other accused hadn’t done that.  I think his honour’s concern was that the community work service hours that were imposed on an offender…who was involved in three incidents in the riot itself, that he should get 150 hours, that Mr. Snelgrove, having participated to a much lesser extent, shouldn’t get the same number of community work service hours,” she says.

As for the judge’s concerns about court resources, Corriveau says that’s an ongoing issue.

“I can tell you long before the riot it was a concern in this courthouse that we didn’t have sufficient resources to manage the offenders and make sure that we can actually deal with rehabilitation in a proactive way, instead of having them just come back again,” she says.

Corriveau says Snelgrove now has a job and she may apply to have his community service hours reduced in the future.