Woman who took kids to robbery gets 4 1/2-year jail term

Rosie Mullaley rmullaley@thetelegram.com
Published on January 28, 2014
Jeanine Monica Bungay appeared for her sentencing in provincial court in St. John’s via video link from the Correctional Centre for Women in Clarenville.
— Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

A woman who took her kids along on a robbery won't be seeing them any time soon.
Jeanine Monica Bungay was sentenced to four years, nine months in a federal prison. The 27-year-old wasn't in the courtroom when she was sentenced in provincial court in St. John's Monday.
Instead, she appeared via video link from the Correctional Centre for Women in Clarenville.
She cried as Judge David Orr rendered his decision.

Orr gave Bungay 80 days' credit for the time she's already spent in custody, leaving four years and 6 1/2 months on her term.

"Protection of the public must be an important consideration in this case," Orr said.

Bungay pleaded guilty last week 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 on 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 the store was played in court. It showed a woman with a baseball bat chasing Bungay out of the store 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 had been 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 roadblock to be set up further down the road, near the Trans-Canada Highway turnoff.

When Bungay approached the roadblock, 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 apologized in court for what she did and said she turned to drugs because she was depressed.

Crown prosecutor Danny Vavasour had asked for a sentence of between five and six years.

Bungay's lawyer, Randy Piercey, had suggested a prison term of 3 1/2 to four years. He noted that Bungay also already suffered by having no access to her children.

In coming to his decision, the judge said the fact that she has lost access to her children should not be considered a mitigating factor, as she did bring them along on a robbery.