String of violent robberies nets seven-year prison term

A string of violent convenience store and liquor outlet robberies has landed a Red Deer man seven years in jail.

A string of violent convenience store and liquor outlet robberies has landed a Red Deer man seven years in jail.

Andrew Forseth, 29, pleaded guilty to four robberies, fleeing from police and to a business break-in when he appeared in Red Deer provincial court.

Forseth, who has been in jail since early last November, will serve five years in a federal prison after he was given credit for two years of pre-trial custody based on the old accepted formula of two-for-one. Forseth was detained in custody before new legislation abolished the old formula in June. Court also heard that Forseth has been in solitary confinement all that time.

Crown prosecutor Murray McPherson told Judge Gordon Deck that the first robbery occurred Aug. 27, 2009, when Forseth, who has drug and alcohol addictions, stole a bottle of booze at a Deer Park liquor store.

When confronted outside the store by a clerk, Forseth produced a knife and threatened to kill the clerk.

On Oct. 2, 2009, Forseth stole $521 worth of groceries from a Canada Safeway store. When confronted outside the store by a loss prevention officer, Forseth started waving a hypodermic needle around and cut the officer.

Forseth then committed three quick robberies on Nov. 2 and Nov. 4, 2009, including the West Park Fas Gas outlet twice in the space of a few hours.

In both cases, he fled with cash, cigarettes and lottery tickets. He also threatened the clerk saying he had a gun.

One of those robbery charges was withdrawn by the Crown.

Also on Nov. 4, Forseth broke into a liquor store, making off with a dozen bottles of vodka.

However, Forseth cut himself and blood that was collected and analyzed matched his. That night, Forseth robbed an Eastview area convenience store, telling the clerk he had a knife. He fled with lottery tickets and cigarettes.

On Nov. 6, Forseth was spotted by a RCMP member near 67th Street and 51st Avenue. The officer attempted to stop him after watching Forseth run a stop sign and a red light at about 3 a.m. Forseth tried to elude the officer by driving in and out of alleys and then fled his vehicle, only to be tracked down in a few minutes by a police dog.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com

Forseth’s driver’s licence is also suspended for a year once he leaves jail.

The sentence was worked out by McPherson and defence lawyer Lorne Goddard.