Man with 100 convictions across Canada given more jail time in St. John's
Donald Cameron sentenced to six months in jail for theft and fraud, blames ex and media
Donald Cameron cried at times as he aired grievances about his family, his ex-fiancée, the death of his father and the CBC ahead of his latest prison sentence.
Despite accusing the Crown attorney of having holes in his story, Cameron pleaded guilty to three charges in provincial court in St. John's on Friday — surpassing 100 convictions for his lifetime criminal record.
He was sentenced to six months in prison for fraud, stealing a car and possession of stolen goods.
"I have no choice but to admit it and get it over with," he told the judge. "I want this over today."
Cameron is wanted in Sudbury, Ont., for six counts of fraud and six counts of using a stolen credit card.
One of the items he is accused of obtaining through fraud is a Canon camera belonging to his ex-fiancée, Mary-Lee MacInnis.
CBC Investigates found the camera in St. John's, and its new owner said he bought it on Facebook from a man named Don Cameron.
MacInnes matched the serial number to the warranty booklet in MacInnis's home, and then filed a police report with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.
After that story was published on Oct. 5, Cameron said his life became more difficult.
He said he suffers from anxiety and depression and was unable to receive treatment in St. John's because of the "media attention."
His lack of treatment, paired with the death of his father, drove him to steal a car on Feb. 12 and make a dash for the ferry in Port aux Basques, he said.
When the judge asked if he was entering his guilty plea voluntarily, or if anyone was pressuring him to plead that way, Cameron replied, "nobody other than the media."
Crimes date back 4 decades
Before Cameron made his speech to Judge Lois Skanes, the Crown attorney entered his criminal record as an exhibit.
CBC News obtained a copy after the sentencing, which shows convictions dating back to 1981 in Windsor, Ont.
There are dozens of property offences, including 29 convictions for theft and nine break and enters. There are also convictions for sexual assault, abandoning a child and a prison break.
The offences range from Prince George, B.C., to the latest ones in St. John's. Cameron is also wanted in 10 different places around Canada.
He was convicted of a car theft as recently as 2015, in Oshawa, Ont., and was sentenced to four months in jail.
With credit for time served, Cameron has 162 days left on his most recent conviction. He will then serve six months of probation.
Latest relationship ends with a Google search
CBC News has learned new details of Cameron's last 48 hours as a free man before his arrest on Feb. 12.
A Bell Island woman, Debbie Rose, said she had been dating Cameron for a week before he stole the car and left town.
"I was very comfortable with him very quickly," she said. "He even met my mom. It was really fast."
But he also met her daughter, who wasn't so taken by him. After Googling his name — which he said was John Cameron — she found his backstory.
Rose was supposed to meet Cameron at his house and when she told him she wasn't coming over, he seemed to know what was going on, she said.
Later that day, Rose got a police escort to his apartment to retrieve her things. When she got there, Cameron was gone.
While she was there, Craig Evans, a car salesman with A+ Auto Services, showed up looking for Cameron.
Hours earlier, Cameron had walked to the used car lot and took a Ford Focus for a test drive all the way to the Nova Scotia ferry.
Police received several calls that day, leading them to be concerned for Cameron's mental health and safety. They were already tracking his phone before Evans had even reported the car stolen.
In court on Friday, Cameron scoffed as he flipped through the pages of MacInnis's victim impact statement.
"What a load of s--t," he said as he handed it back to the defence counsel.
Before being led away in shackles, Cameron apologized to the car dealership, as well as the man he defrauded when selling the camera.
"And reluctantly, I will apologize to Ms. MacInnis."