A higher court has reduced the sentence a Surrey provincial court judge gave a teenaged boy who pleaded guilty to three home invasion-related crimes, finding the sentence exceeded the maximum allowable under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The boy, whose identity is shielded by the YCJA, was given the maximum three-year custody and supervision order followed by 12 months’ probation as well as a $7,500 restitution order, to remain in effect for five years. He pleaded guilty to robbery, breaking-and-entering and using an imitation firearm when committing the robbery.
The Court of Appeal for British Columbia also found the provincial court judge erred by failing to take into account the boy’s ability to pay the restitution. The teen had just turned 16 at the time the crimes were committed. The Crown did not seek an adult sentence.
The provincial court judge gave him a year’s credit for the 451 days he’d already been in custody and ordered a 24-month custody and supervision order.
Appeal Court Justice Bruce Butler struck the probation and restitution orders and set the community supervision part of the sentence at 12 months, to be served after 24 months in custody. Justices John Hunter and Peter Willcock concurred.
In the early morning of Sept. 28, 2017 the boy and three other people wearing masks broke into a rural home of a couple and their four children. The teen and one of the other intruders appeared to be carrying rifles, Butler noted.
“The family was in bed and were awakened by the intruders who threatened them with the firearms,” the judge stated in his Dec. 12 reasons for judgment. “The intruders took cell phones, money and other items from the home. They stole one of the vehicles and attempted to escape after crashing through the front gates of the property.”
Butler noted police captured the robbers following a pursuit by car and helicopter.
“The family members were terrorized by the robbery and have suffered long-term psychological consequences.”