New Brunswick

N.B. cemetery vandal gets house arrest

Dana Richard Bartlett of Saint John has been sentenced to house arrest and probation for damaging more than 300 cemetery headstones last April.

A 20-year-old Saint John man was sentenced to house arrest Tuesday for what police have described as the worst case of cemetery vandalism the city has ever seen.

Dana Richard Bartlett pleaded guilty in July to mischief over $5,000.

Provincial court Judge Alfred Brien sentenced Bartlett to 23 months of house arrest, followed by two years of probation.

He must also work 240 hours of community service — the highest amount allowed — and he is barred from all cemeteries for four years.

Bartlett knocked about 330 headstones at St. Joseph's Cemetery off their mounts in the early hours of April 25, a Sunday morning. The Saint John Police Force charged him July 5 after a tip from the public helped break the case.

Bartlett told police in July he was angry with an ex-girlfriend and had had too much to drink. On the way home from a friend's house, he said he felt enraged while passing the cemetery. He said he acted alone.

Prior to Bartlett's sentence Tuesday, the court heard details from two victim-impact statements that detailed the pain, shock and helplessness of families who had loved ones buried at the cemetery.

Brien said he was taking into account mental illness in the sentencing because, he said, Bartlett suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome. 

He said that he doubts Bartlett intended to target anyone. Bartlett has problems with impulse control and anger management, the judge said.