Man sentenced to prison for jewelry robbery

A man who robbed a Red Deer jewelery store to feed his drug habit hopes his prison sentence will help him turn his life around.

A man who robbed a Red Deer jewelery store to feed his drug habit hopes his prison sentence will help him turn his life around.

Robert Wilkinson, 29, of Red Deer, pleaded guilty earlier on to an armed robbery of the People’s Jewelry Store in Parkland Mall on April 20.

Court heard during his sentencing hearing before Judge Bert Skinner on Wednesday that Wilkinson had ordered store staff to put a number of rings into a red cosmetic bag, indicating that he had a weapon.

The clerks complied and Wilkinson escaped with 12 rings valued at $11,438, said Crown Prosecutor Jillian Brown.

He was arrested three days later in a traffic stop.

Defence counsel Patty MacNaughton said her client confessed to the crime, although he was high on drugs at the time and does not remember robbing the store.

Skinner said in passing sentence that the circumstances of Wilkinson’s difficult childhood do not excuse his actions, nor does the fact that he was extremely high at the time of the offence.

Acknowledging the early guilty plea and Wilkinson’s efforts to seek help with his addictions, Skinner sentenced him to serve 33 months in a federal prison, minus credit of two months for the 66 days he had already served in remand.

He was also ordered to submit a sample of his DNA, and is prohibited from owning firearms for at least 10 years after completing his sentence.

MacNaughton said her client hopes to use the services available in prison to get clean from drugs and to complete his high school education.