Man gets nine-year prison term

A Red Deer man found guilty of robbing a TD Canada Trust bank using bear spray early last fall received a nine-year prison sentence in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on Thursday.

A Red Deer man found guilty of robbing a TD Canada Trust bank using bear spray early last fall received a nine-year prison sentence in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on Thursday.

On Wednesday, a jury found Dustin Aaron Clark, 36, guilty of robbery, using a disguise with the intention of committing an offence, using a weapon dangerous to the public and two counts of assault with a weapon.

He was found not guilty of theft under $5,000.

Justice Monica Bast agreed with Crown prosecutor Jason Snider that Clark qualified for delayed parole eligibility due to his lengthy criminal record, so he must serve half of his sentence before he can be released on full parole.

Charges stem from an incident at 3 p.m. on Sept. 23, 2013, when a man entered the Village Mall TD Canada Trust in Red Deer and used bear spray to rob the bank.

Bast said both the tellers, an innocent bystander outside, and another man who chased Clark suffered painful symptoms from the bear spray.

Snider was seeking a nine-to-10-year prison sentence and defence lawyer Norman Clair sought a seven-to-eight-year sentence.

During his opportunity to speak to the court prior to sentencing, Clark insisted that he didn’t do the crime, regretted requesting a jury trial, and asked Bast for a little mercy.

“I didn’t do anything. I’m sticking to my guns on this one,” said Clark.

Clark said he was an orphan, raised in group homes and foster care, and turned to petty crime to survive.

“It’s been a web I can’t get out of,” he said.

Clark has a 21-year record of over 50 convictions.

Bast said she considered several aggravating factors in reaching her decision, including the use of a weapon, the risk of exposing bank customers to bear spray, wearing a disguise, and fleeing the scene and committing further crimes.

Clark was given credit for 298 days of pre-trial custody, which will reduce the amount of time he has left to serve.

A lifetime weapons prohibition was also imposed on Clark and an order was made for a DNA sample.

Just Posted

WATCH: Setters Place grand opening in Red Deer

Red Deer’s Setters Place officially opened to the public Saturday afternoon.… Continue reading

Women’s marches underway in Canadian cities, a year after Trump inauguration

Women are gathering in dozens of communities across the country today to… Continue reading

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by government

Olds chicken barn burns to the ground, no livestock harmed

More than 100,000 chickens were saved as fire crews prevent the blaze from spreading

Bear video meant to promote conservation: zoo owner

Discovery Wildlife Park says it will look at other ways to promote its conservation message

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month