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Three imprisoned for home invasion

Three men who committed a violent home invasion two years ago have all received prison sentences. Early on July 13, 2018, Julio Alvarez, Shane Wilson and Bryden Bingley entered the victim’s apartment, brandished weapons and threatened him.
Victoria's courthouse.

Three men who committed a violent home invasion two years ago have all received prison sentences.

Early on July 13, 2018, Julio Alvarez, Shane Wilson and Bryden Bingley entered the victim’s apartment, brandished weapons and threatened him. As a ruse to rob him, they accused the victim of being a drug dealer who had sold a fatal dose to one of their friends.

In January, Alvarez pleaded guilty to robbery, unlawfully entering a dwelling house and using an imitation firearm. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

The next month, Bingley was convicted by a jury of robbery and unlawfully entering a dwelling house. He was sentenced to five years in prison this month by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Saunders.

On Friday, Wilson was sentenced to three years in prison followed by two years of probation after pleading guilty to robbery, unlawfully entering a dwelling house with intent to commit an indictable offence and having his face masked.

An agreed statement of fact, entered as a court exhibit at Wilson’s sentencing, revealed that the victim called 911 at 4:30 a.m., saying he was being robbed by three men who were still in his apartment. He asked police to hurry.

Officers arrived and quickly cleared the apartment. The victim, whose name is protected by a court order, told police he had been celebrating his birthday with friends when a masked man, dressed in camouflage and carrying a Bowie knife with a six-to-eight-inch blade entered his apartment. The red mask, with two gaping eyeholes and the word “Support” written between the eyes, is a Hells Angels garment, said the statement of fact.

The masked man, later identified as Wilson, pointed to Alvarez and told the victim to deal with him.

Alvarez appeared to be under the influence of drugs and was carrying an imitation handgun in his waistband. He told the victim that his sister had died of an overdose from drugs the victim had sold to her. Alvarez said he was there to collect money for her funeral, the statement said.

The victim tried to convince Alvarez that he did not sell drugs, but Alvarez insisted he did. Alvarez went into the victim’s bedroom looking for valuables. The victim followed, still trying to persuade Alvarez he was not a drug dealer.

There is no evidence before the courts that the victim sold drugs.

At one point, one of the victim’s friends came into the bedroom with an imitation firearm. Alvarez pulled out his imitation gun and pointed it at the man’s head, then told people to get down on the ground. For 10 minutes or more, he continued to demand money for the funeral. Then Wilson told Alvarez it was time to leave and they left, the statement said.

About two hours later, Wilson returned to the victim’s apartment without his mask. The victim knew Wilson was an MMA fighter and was afraid of him. He believed that Wilson was the masked man from the earlier visit because of his voice, stance and the tattoos on his hands and around his eyes.

Wilson spoke privately with the victim, telling him that he knew two people had been at the apartment earlier to talk to him about a drug overdose and that these people wanted to meet with him to clear the air.

The victim agreed to talk to Wilson’s friends. Within minutes, Alvarez and Bingley arrived. Alvarez had the imitation gun. Bingley had a knife in his pocket.

Bingley immediately became aggressive, said the statement. He wanted to know who owned the apartment. He said he was from the Wolf Pack gang in Vancouver and wanted the matter settled or he would bring his “bros” to deal with it.

Bingley brandished the knife, pacing back and forth at the front door and saying that he knew the victim was a drug dealer and that he wanted $4,000 for the funeral. Bingley threatened to stab the victim, the statement said.

The victim took money from his wallet and gave it to Bingley.

The men forced the victim to open his safe. Alvarez stole electronics, two air soft guns and about $4,000 in cash from the safe.

While this was going on, Wilson was lying on the bed with his hands behind his head watching his friends demand money, threaten the victim and rifle through his belongings.

Bingley, Alvarez and Wilson were identified via a security system the victim had in his apartment and surveillance cameras in the apartment building. They were identified by police officers who were “very familiar with them,” the statement said.

Saunders found Alvarez’s actions were more aggravating because he had an imitation firearm and pointed it at someone’s head. Alvarez also appeared to be the leader or instigator of the evening’s events, Saunders found.

The judge was required to consider Wilson’s Aboriginal background, including adverse conditions many Aboriginals face — called the Gladue analysis.

He called the circumstances of Wilson’s upbringing, through childhood and youth, “terribly, terribly sad,” saying they included significant neglect, abuse and physical violence.

“It is small wonder that Mr. Wilson has struggled for years with substance abuse,” Saunders said.

“If the process of Gladue analysis is to have any meaning here, it cannot result in Mr. Wilson receiving precisely the same sentence of four years that was imposed on Mr. Alvarez.”

He ordered Wilson to give the authorities a sample of his DNA.

During his probation, Wilson must abide by a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.