Break-in victim relieved William Chad Pearce sentenced to five years in prison
William Chad Pearce
It was hard to explain the feeling she had, coming home and seeing her bedroom ransacked.
“Oh, the bed was up on its end, everything tore apart and things broken,” she said. “It was unbelievable.”
Her jewelry box was in pieces, a piggy bank was smashed and her patio door frame in the back of the house ripped apart.
“It was bad,” she said, shaking her head.
Now the woman whose Jasper Street home was broken into during the afternoon of Feb. 27 is glad the man who did it will be behind bars for a long time.
William Chad Pearce — who goes by his middle name — was sentenced to five years in prison Friday in provincial court in St. John’s for forcing his way into the woman’s home, along with a slew of others.
The 30-year-old was given 154 days credit for the time he’s already spent in custody, leaving four years and seven months on his term.
“Five years is a long time. … I’m relieved — relieved that it’s over,” said the Jasper Street woman, who preferred not to have her name made public.
“Every time I came down here (to court), it would rehash all the emotions.
“But he moves on now and I move on.”
She admitted that may be difficult, though, since her sense of security has been shaken.
Pearce pleaded guilty in late June to 11 break-ins, along with four charges of breaching court orders, including breaching probation.
He was arrested March 17, when police caught him trying to get into a house on Mount Royal Avenue.
He had smashed out the window in the back of the house.
A neighbour had spotted him on the property and called the homeowner, who was at her daughter's house babysitting her grandchildren.
Through the course of the investigation — which included getting footwear impressions and fingerprints — police discovered Pearce had also been responsible for several prior break-ins in various parts of the city.
Pearce had broken into homes on Musgrave Street, Quebec Street, LeMarchant Road, Patrick Street, Hamilton Avenue and Linscott Street.
Most of the break-ins happened in March. There were a few in late February, one in January and one from June 2012.
In each case, Pearce managed to get into the houses by either smashing out windows or patio doors in the back. They were all committed in the daytime when the homeowners were not there.
Several items were taken at each of the homes, including jewelry, money, laptop computers and pills. Some of the items were later found at Pearce’s home after he was arrested.
During the sentencing hearing last week, Crown prosecutor Bill Cadigan had asked Judge Lois Skanes to give Pearce a six-year jail term. Defence lawyer Michael Ralph had recommended three years.