Robber who had children in car facing lengthy jail term
Jeanine Bungay was seven months pregnant and high on cocaine when she committed her first robbery.
© — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram
Jeanine Monica Bungay pleaded guilty Wednesday in provincial court in St. John’s to committing two robberies last year. She’s scheduled to be sentenced Monday.
After committing her second, she sped from police with her two young children in the car.
In provincial court in St. John’s Wednesday, the 27-year-old broke down in tears, apologized for what she’s done and explained to a judge how her life had spun out of control.
“I’m a mother who has made some bad decisions in the past,” she said, sobbing. “I know I have jeopardized my relationship with my children. I only hope one day they’ll forgive me.”
The Paradise woman pleaded guilty to five charges — armed robbery, robbery, possessing a weapon dangerous to the public (a knife), having her face masked and breaching a court order to possess no weapons.
The charges are in connection with two robberies she committed last year in Conception Bay South.
On May 21, 2013, Bungay walked into Your Convenience store with sunglasses on and a knife in hand.
“Give me all your money,” she said to the female clerk.
She got away with $200.
The clerk followed her out of the store and got a partial licence plate number. Police traced the car to Bungay and arrested her shortly after.
She informed officers she was high on cocaine and was seven months pregnant. She told them her common-law husband had kicked her out of the house, that she was desperate for her next fix and immediately spent the money on cocaine.
Bungay was released on bail June 12, 2013.
About six months later, on Dec. 6, 2013, Bungay went into CJ’s Convenience on the Foxtrap Access Road with a white scarf wrapped around her head and demanded money from the female clerk.
The clerk immediately pressed an emergency button behind the counter, which sounded in the attached house, where the store owners live.
Surveillance video from inside the store was played in court. It showed a woman chasing Bungay out of the store with a baseball bat and a man following close behind.
The man ran after Bungay across the street, between two houses and back to the store’s parking lot, where she jumped behind the wheel of her SUV, which was left running.
The store owners noted the licence plate number and called police.
On their way, officers spotted the vehicle on the Conception Bay South highway. They arranged for a road block to be set up further down the road, near the Trans-Canada Highway turnoff.
When Bungay approached the road block, she refused to stop and swerved around police cars.
Police followed her to Paradise. When she stopped at a red light near the Trails End subdivision, police cars surrounded her car. Officers drew their guns and approached the car to arrest Bungay.
That was when they noticed two small children in the back seat — Bungay’s five-year old daughter and five-month-old son.
Bungay has been in jail ever since.
She told the judge Wednesday that the children are with their father and that she wasn’t in the right state of mind at the time.
She said she was stressed from the family having to move for a second time due to her husband’s job.
“I felt things were falling apart,” said Bungay, who added her husband worked seven days a week.
She said she turned to drugs to relieve the pain.
“I was very depressed and lonely,” she said, crying.
“I should’ve reached out for help. … (Committing the robberies) was the worst decision of my life.”
Since being in jail, she said she’s gotten counselling and has researched drug abuse.
But Crown prosecutor Danny Vavasour said Bungay is no stranger to the court system. She has a lengthy record, which includes convictions for such offences as theft, break and enter, and court breaches.
She said the fact that both robberies involved her children is an aggravating factor. He said Bungay is lucky something more serious didn’t happen.
He said a prison term of five to six years would be appropriate.
Defence lawyer Randy Piercey said Bungay is an “intelligent, educated and, I suggest, remorseful woman.”
He said she has already suffered, having lost both her children as a result of her imprisonment.
Piercey said a jail term of between 3 1/2 years and four years is more appropriate.
Judge David Orr will render his decision Monday.