Teen held in custody for role in violent robbery

A convenience store clerk, blinded after being sprayed with bear spray, had a saw held against his throat as a teen demanded cash.

A convenience store clerk, blinded after being sprayed with bear spray, had a saw held against his throat as a teen demanded cash.

The teen was sentenced to nine months in custody followed by 12 months of probation. Judge Bert Skinner handed down the sentence Thursday in Red Deer youth court.

The then 17-year-old, pleaded guilty on June 11 to counts of robbery, disguise with intent to commit an indictable offence, possession of a prohibited weapon and two counts of breaching a youth court order.

He can’t be named because of provisions in the Canada Youth Justice Act.

Crown Prosecutor Carolyn Ayre read in the facts of the case.

On April 27, the youth and Erin Bull, 18, entered the Express 24 Food Mart on Erickson Drive at 4:30 a.m. with their faces masked by bandanas. Bull was armed with a saw and the youth was armed with a saw and some bear spray.

Bull hit the clerk with the saw, while the youth sprayed the clerk with bear spray. The two demanded cash.

The clerk said he couldn’t open the till because he was blinded by the bear spray. At this point the youth held his saw to the clerk’s throat and threatened to harm the clerk.

A second employee was in the back while this was occurring and contacted the police.

The clerk was able to get one of the two cash drawers open and was attempting to open the other one when Red Deer RCMP arrived.

The two people were arrested and charged.

Bull pleaded guilty to his role on June 17 in Red Deer provincial court and is scheduled for sentencing on Aug. 26.

Ayre wanted a custodial sentence of 12 to 15 months imposed on the youth for this crime, citing the violence used against the clerk.

Defence counsel Walter Kubanek said a lengthy custodial sentence would not meet the rehabilitative aims of the Canada Youth Justice Act. While he did see the need for some custodial sentence, but suggested it be open or under community supervision.

Skinner ordered a nine month custodial sentence, split three ways in secure custody, open custody and concluding with community supervision.

Following the custodial sentence, a 12-month probation period was ordered.

Skinner also included a weapons prohibition and that the youth provide a sample of his DNA.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com