R v Ireland, 2021 ONCJ 159

An Indigenous first offender was sentenced to a further 100 days over his presentence credit for a jewelry store heist. The value of the stolen jewelry is estimated at over half a million dollars. In lieu of forfeiture, he is fined $162,500.00 to pay in four years, or will have to serve 2 years in custody.

Indigenous Law Centre CaseWatch Blog

In 2020, Mr. Ireland, an Indigenous man and first time offender, pleaded guilty to robbery contrary to s 343(a) of the Criminal Code for a jewelry store heist in 2019. Mr. Ireland and his accomplice entered a jewelry store masked and with sledgehammers. After intimidating the staff and smashing cases containing jewelry, they exited into a vehicle driven by a third accomplice. The entire incident was captured on the store’s video surveillance cameras.

At a different location, they changed vehicles driven by a fourth accomplice. That vehicle’s driver was under police surveillance at the time. Police were led to a residence on the Oneida Settlement where arrests were made after a K9 pursuit, and evidence of the robbery was located. The value of the stolen jewellery is estimated to be $530,545. None of it has been recovered.

Mr. Ireland has significant Gladue factors according to a Gladue report and pre-sentence report. He is a member of the Chippewa of the Thames First Nation. The reports, however, have conflicting information regarding his family members’ history in residential schools. What was apparent was substance abuse and domestic violence in his upbringing. He suffers from mental health issues and has limited employment history. Mr. Ireland is a committed father and is nurturing to his family.

Balancing all aggravating and mitigating factors with the sentencing principles, the appropriate sentence imposed on Mr. Ireland was one of four and one-half years in custody. Mr. Ireland is sentenced to an additional 100 days over and above the 385 days of pre-sentence credit he would normally be entitled to, leaving a remainder of 38 months to serve. The Court recommends Mr. Ireland be assessed by Correctional Services under their Indigenous Intervention Centre for possible placement in a Healing Lodge.

Despite Mr. Ireland’s arrest within an hour of a calculated jewelry store robbery, more than half a million dollars of jewelry remains unrecovered. In lieu of forfeiture, there will be a fine of $162,500 pursuant to section 462.37(3). Mr. Ireland has 4 years within which to make payment of the fine. Pursuant to section 462.37(4)(v), in default of payment, he will have the minimum sentence imposed of 2 years custody. The Court waives the application of the victim fine surcharge.

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