Man in police standoff gets three more months in jail

Rosie
Rosie Gillingham
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A St. John’s man who was at the centre of a standoff with police last month has been given a jail term of just over five months.

Dwight Saunders

Dwight Jonathan Saunders was sentenced Tuesday in provincial court.

Judge Pamela Goulding gave the 27-year-old 1.5 times credit for the 44 days he’s already spent in custody, leaving three months left on his term.

Once Saunders is freed from jail, he will be on three years’ probation, with conditions that include he participate in counselling sessions for his drug addiction.

Saunders pleaded guilty to four charges last week — possessing a firearm (a shotgun) while prohibited from doing so and carelessly using a firearm, along with fraud and breach of probation.

He was arrested Dec. 9. RNC officers had responded to a report that Saunders had barricaded himself inside a house on Thorburn Road with a gun and was threatening to kill himself.

Several homeowners in the immediate area were evacuated and a portion of Thorburn Road was closed at the time.

RNC crisis negotiators had established communication with Saunders, who had a 12-gauge shotgun. After two hours, Saunders was safely removed from the house and taken into custody.

At Saunders’ request, defence lawyer Jeff Brace had asked the judge to consider returning the firearms to Saunders’ brother and father. Goulding denied the request and, instead, ordered they be disposed of.

The fraud charge stemmed from an incident that happened in August, when Saunders deposited an empty envelope into a ScotiaBank ATM and withdrew $500.

Geographic location: Thorburn Road

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