A Saanich man who knocked an 87-year-old woman to the ground and stole her cash-filled purse has been sentenced to six months in jail followed by two years probation.
Gordon Hunter, 18, pleaded guilty earlier this year to robbing the elderly woman as she got off a bus on Langley Street June 9. He has been in custody since his arrest on June 10.
The six-month sentence means Hunter must spend another 23 days in custody. Victoria provincial court Judge Sue Wishart also ordered Hunter to pay restitution of $1,050 to his elderly victim by Oct. 31, 2013.
Crown prosecutor Joselyn Byrne had asked for a one-year sentence, followed by two years probation. Defence lawyer Brad Hickford said the five months Hunter has spent in custody was sufficient.
Wishart concluded a jail sentence was required because of the seriousness of the offence. The probation order is to protect the public and assist Hunter in his rehabilitation, she said.
He is a young man who has struggled because of choices he has made. He has had problems in his family and struggled with substance abuse. Still, his prospects of rehabilitation are good.
Wishart noted Hunter has the support of his family and is willing to undergo counselling.
At Hunters sentencing hearing last week, the court heard that the petite senior, who is five feet tall and weighs 90 pounds, was on the same bus as Hunter and his friend Sam Holden who later told police he had no idea Hunter was planning to rob the elderly woman.
When the woman got off the bus at Langley Street, Hunter ran behind her, grabbed her purse and knocked her to the ground.
Hunter ran and hid in Monk Office Supplies. The teen asked if he could use the washroom, but was told to go to the Bay Centre.
Hunter told the store manager that hed almost been shot and was being followed. When the manager said he was going to phone the police, Hunter told him to relax and just chill.
He then ran to the Bay Centre, where he met Holden. Hunter went to the washroom, took the money almost $5,000 in $100s and $50s out of the womans purse and threw the purse away with all her identification. Hunter also changed into a new set of clothes.
Shortly after, police retrieved an image of Hunter from surveillance cameras at the shopping centre. A dozen people called police after Hunters photo was released to the media. Holden was also identified and brought in to Victoria police for questioning, but released.
That night, Hunter threw a party at his home in Cadboro Bay and gave money to his friends.
Police, who had the house under surveillance, overheard a young woman leaving the party ask the cabbie if he had change for $100.
Hunter was arrested June 10. He came out of his house clutching a Bible, rosary beads and an apology letter to the senior. He also returned $3,700 of her money.
Hunters probation conditions include having no contact with the victim or his friend Holden. He is prohibited from consuming alcohol or taking drugs, other than prescription medication. He is not allowed to possess any weapons, and must attend programs for counselling, violence prevention, substance abuse and forensic assessment, as directed by his probation officer.
Hunter must also provide a sample of his DNA.
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