Woman charged with violent theft found guilty

Rosie
Rosie Mullaley
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A woman who violently fought with security guards to get away after stealing items from a St. John's store will be sentenced in June.
Ashley Elizabeth Ryan (also known as Oliver) was found guilty of several crimes Thursday in provincial court.

Ashley Elizabeth Ryan (also known as Oliver) speaks with her lawyer Ken Hollett following proceedings in her trial at provincial court in St. John's. Ryan was found guilty of several charges that were laid following a theft and struggle with security guards at Piper's Store on Topsail Road.
— Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

Judge Jim Walsh convicted the 23-year-old of charges that include theft under $5,000, mischief by damaging property, assault causing bodily harm and two counts of assault with a weapon.

Ryan was arrested on Sept. 15, 2012, as a result of an incident that happened at Pipers on Topsail Road.

She walked into the store and swiped items, including furniture and picture frames, and left without paying. When two security guards approached her on the parking lot, Ryan became angry and violent. The guards struggled with her, but Ryan continued to fight. It became so serious, two men passing by stopped to help the guards.

During the struggle, Ryan pulled out a can of bear spray from her purse and sprayed the men. She also kicked a vehicle in the parking lot.

Ryan was originally charged with the more serious count of robbery with violence, but since she became violent after she took the items, the judge found her not guilty of that charge, but guilty of theft.

Defence lawyer Ken Hollett and Crown prosecutor Elizabeth Ivany will present their arguments on sentencing June 4.

Ryan, who was released on bail shortly after he arrest, has a criminal record, but Hollett indicated it was short.

 

rgillingham@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @TelyCourt

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