Man sentenced to more than eight years for two robberies

Rosie Gillingham
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William Macaulay, who committed two robberies, has been sentenced to eight years and three months in jail.

William Macaulay is shown in provincial court this morning. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

He has been given straight time credit for the 77 days he's already spent in custody, leaving eight years and 13 days left to serve.

Judge Jim Walsh said this morning while Macaulay's criminal record suggests he is beyond rehabilitation, his pleas to the police to get him help for his drug addiction reveals he wants to change his life. The judge strongly urged authorities to try and get Macaulay registered for a program in Portage, Que., which he had requested.

Crown prosecutor Kathleen O'Reilly had suggested a prison sentence of nine to 10 years. Defence lawyer Michelle Coady had asked for seven years.

Macaulay committed two armed robberies - one in September at the Esso gas station on Portugal Cove Road in St. John's and one in October at Family Drug Mart, across the street.

They marked the fifth and sixth armed robberies Macaulay has committed in the last seven years.

In 1996, he held up a business and was sentenced to four years in jail. He got six years behind bars for two holdups in 2000 and 5 1/2 years for another in 2008.

Macaulay pleaded guilty to several charges, including armed robberies, having his face masked and possessing a dangerous weapon.

He was arrested in dramatic fashion while in the act of holding up Family Drug Mart in the East Gate Plaza.

Police had surveillance on Macaulay, after he was suspected of committing the robbery at the Esso station the week before.

On Oct. 4., he was seen leaving his apartment on Portugal Cove Place, located just around the corner from the pharmacy. He walked into the pharmacy, pulled out a knife, threw a small bag on the counter and demanded prescription drugs.

"Give me all your narcotics," he shouted to the pharmacist. "Hurry the f--- up!"

At that moment, the video from the pharmacy, which was played in court, shows police officers rushing into the store with guns drawn.

Macaulay immediately held up his hands and got down on the floor.

When he was brought to RNC headquarters, Macaulay admitted to committing the armed robbery at the Esso station the week before.

He told officers he held up the businesses because he had a serious drug addiction.

He said he robbed money from Esso to get drugs, and on the day he held up Family Drug Mart, he woke up craving drugs.



Geographic location: Portage

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