Lewis gets 9 1/2-year prison term

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Rosie Mullaley
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Judge comes down hard on man who orchestrated violent home invasion

The judge had been about five minutes into reading from his written decision sentencing Dean Edwin Lewis when he suddenly stopped.

All was silent as the victims of the violent home invasion - which Lewis was convicted of orchestrating - quietly entered the courtroom in Newfoundland Supreme Court.

Dean Edwin Lewis who played a key role in a violent home invasion in St. John's last year was given a 9 1/2-year jail term Tuesday at Newfoundland Supreme Court. With 18 months' credit given for time in custody, Lewis has eight years left to serve. - Ph

The judge had been about five minutes into reading from his written decision sentencing Dean Edwin Lewis when he suddenly stopped.

All was silent as the victims of the violent home invasion - which Lewis was convicted of orchestrating - quietly entered the courtroom in Newfoundland Supreme Court.

"I'm glad you came," Justice Robert Fowler said to the couple, who were accompanied by three other family members.

"I think it's far more important for you to hear what I have to say firsthand."

Fowler then started from the beginning.

When he was done, the family looked more than pleased when the judge sentenced Lewis to a 9 1/2-year jail term.

With 18 months' credit given for time he spent in custody, Lewis has eight more years to serve on his sentence.

While the victims opted not to comment to reporters outside court, they made a point of shaking Crown prosecutor Sheldon Steeves' hand.

As they walked away, they could be seen across the street smiling and hugging each other.

A little more than a year ago, the family's life was turned upside down, when three men stormed into their house, beat them and stole thousands of dollars before taking off.

Lewis wasn't one of the three. In fact, he wasn't there at all.

But the 32-year-old orchestrated the whole thing - showing the men where the couple lived and paying for the taxi to allow them to get there.

The judge saw Lewis as a key player in the violent offence and came down hard on him.

Fowler said Lewis knew the men were armed and dangerous, but allowed them to carry out the robbery.

"He knew the vulnerability of the victims, yet he still facilitated it and put in motion the plan," Fowler said. "He could have stopped this at any time."

The incident happened April 13, 2009, on Mackenzie Street, in the city's east end.

At around 11 p.m., the three men knocked on the door. When the female homeowner answered, the men forced their way inside and brutally attacked the male homeowner, who is in his early 60s.

He was struck in the head with a hammer and was taken to hospital for treatment of serious injuries. He was later released, but still suffers pain from the incident.

"The assault was unimaginative in violence," the judge said.

The woman, who was dragged by her hair and held at gunpoint, received knee injuries, cuts and abrasions.

"I cannot imagine a higher degree of terror than to have a cocked handgun at your temple while knowing her husband was being assaulted and she could do nothing," the judge said.

He said the degree of violence used was excessive and unwarranted.

Lewis had been found guilty last month of break and enter and robbery, along with breaching probation and breaching an undertaking.

"By his actions, Mr. Lewis has made a mockery of court orders ...," the judge said.

"It's time court orders be treated with respect and for the purpose with which they're initiated."

In sentencing Lewis, Fowler took into consideration his "unenviable" criminal record, which dates back to the the early 1990s and includes more than 100 convictions.

"I realize this is a significant sentence for Mr. Lewis," the judge said, "but I see no other way to uphold the principles of sentencing ... and to protect the public."

The judge believed a message should be sent that home invasions won't be tolerated.

"No crime causes more concern or terror (than home invasions) ...," Fowler said. "This is one of the most serious crimes in the Criminal Code."

However, Fowler noted that while the sentence may seem harsh, he believes the principle players in the invasion should get a harsher penalty.

Rene Paul Seers, 27, Gordon Bishop, 25, and Stephen Peter Clowe, 24, have been charged with carrying out the home invasion. Seers and Bishop have a preliminary hearing set for June. Clowe is still at large.

rgillingham@thetelegram.com

Geographic location: Mackenzie Street

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  • Deanne Bartlett
    August 09, 2013 - 23:24

    Dean Lewis is my half Brother who I have not had contact with for years, I really need to know what prision he is being held in, please no information is too little.