Victim relieved assailant involved in violent home invasion gets eight-year jail term

Rosie Mullaley rmullaley@thetelegram.com
Published on November 16, 2011
Stephen Peter Clowe was sentenced to eight years in prison Monday at provincial court in St. John’s Monday. Clowe was involved in a violent home invasion on Mackenzie Street in April 2009. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

He watched helplessly as his wife was dragged across the house by her hair, while he was beaten with a hammer and left bleeding on the floor.

Two-and-a-half years after he and his wife were brutally attacked and robbed in their Mackenzie Street home, Dave Carey’s emotional scars are still visible.

His eyes filled with tears and he struggled to get the words out when asked how the incident changed his life.

“Oh God. You got an hour?” asked Carey, who is still under a doctor’s care. “It’s changed my life drastically. … I don’t let anybody into my door. I’ve got video cameras all over my house. … I sleep with one eye open and one eye closed.”

Surrounded by reporters outside provincial court in St. John’s Tuesday, Carey had just come from Courtroom No. 6, where one of his assailants — Stephen Peter Clowe — was sentenced.

Clowe was given an eight-year jail term after pleading guilty to a charge of break and enter with intent to commit a robbery.

The 27-year-old was given 166 days of time served for charges of breaching court orders.

“The public is a lot safer with this scum off the streets,” Carey said. “I feel good now that it’s over.”

But the memories of what happened the night of April 13, 2009, have never left his mind.

It was Easter Sunday and Georgina Carey was cleaning up from supper and making last-minute preparations for their trip to the Dominican Republic, where their daughter was to be married, when a knock came at the front door.

When she opened the door, a man pushed it in on her, threw her on the floor, pinned her down and covered her mouth.

He then pulled out a gun and held it to her head.

Dave Carey had been in bed, but came out when he heard the commotion.

Two of the other men attacked him, saying “Shut the f--k up” or else they would “blow her head off,” referring to his wife.

Dave tried to fight the men and even put his fingers in the mouth of one of the three men, in an attempt to stop him. But Dave was hit several times with a hammer, including once in the head.

The men demanded money and when Georgina said it was in the bedroom, one of them dragged her in the room by the hair.

She handed over $4,000, which was kept in a plastic baggie. She said the money belonged to her nephew who was incarcerated at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary.

The three men then ran out of the house. She rushed to her husband, who was lying on the floor bleeding, and called 911.

Dave Carey was taken to hospital, where he was treated with stitches for a gash on his head.

Later, Georgina was shown a photo lineup, but couldn’t identified any of the men.

It was only after she returned from her trip that she saw pictures in The Telegram of the men arrested for the home invasion and recognized them, one of whom was wearing the same coat he had on during the invasion.

As a result of their investigation, police arrested Clowe, Dean Lewis, Gordon Bishop and Rene Paul Seers.

Lewis knew the Careys’ nephew and knew about the money. He didn’t take part in the home invasion, but showed the other men where the house was.

Following a trial in 2009, Lewis was found guilty of break and enter with intent to commit robbery and was sentenced to 9 1/2 years in jail. With time served, he had eight years left to serve on his term.

Charges against Bishop were recently dropped.

Seers is expected to plead guilty to break and enter with the intent to commit robbery, and one count of breaching probation. His case will be called in court next week.

Carey said he and his wife will be there to see the last of their assailants’ court cases wrap up.

Judge David Orr went along with the eight-year jail term for Clowe after Crown prosecutor Sheldon Steeves and defence counsel James Goodwin came to an agreement.

Orr believed it was an appropriate sentence, given the seriousness of the offence and the impact it had on the victims. It also took into consideration Clowe’s guilty plea and his young age, he said.

When Clowe was given the chance to speak, he stood and said quickly, “I’m sorry for what happened. I shouldn’t have had any part of it and I deserve what (sentence) I’m given today.”

But Carey didn’t accept that.

“These are dangerous people and I’m just glad (he) got eight years. When they get out, there’s no telling what they’ll do,” he told reporters.

“I don’t think the public is safe with these people on the loose.”

rgillingham@thetelegram.com Twitter: TelyCourt