St. John’s Thursday after appearing before a judge in Courtroom No. 7.
— Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram
Andrew Walter Carter — who committed six robberies out of desperation to get money to buy drugs — has been sentenced to five years in jail.
Judge David Orr made the decision this morning at provincial court in St. John’s.
As he was led back to the holding cells, Carter said goodbye to several members of his family in the courtroom.
He pleaded guilty to 18 charges stemming from four armed robberies, one robbery and one attempted robbery, all of which happened at convenience stores in the capital city in the span of two months last winter.
The 27-year-old — who turned himself in to police in April — had no criminal record prior to the robberies.
According to the facts of the case read in provincial court during Carter’s sentencing hearing last week, store clerks in several of the robberies described Carter as polite. He called one female clerk “‘Ma’am” and a male employee “Sir.”
When he confessed to the crimes at RNC headquarters, he told officers he realized the only way he would get help was to be incarcerated.
Carter told officers that he first tried marijuana in high school and that led to him using Percocet and Oxycontin. In the past few years he had a serious addiction to morphine.
He had tried many times to get help, but to no avail.
When Carter committed his first robbery Jan. 20, he had just gotten out of a detox program at the Waterford Hospital. His withdrawal symptoms were strong and he decided to hold up City Superette on Pleasant Street to get money for drugs.
The male clerk, however, chased him out of the store with a metal pipe. Carter threw the pocket knife he was carrying into the street.
He said he told the clerk he “hated to do this.” He ran to a friend’s house, where he said he had a panic attack.
Still frantic to get his fix, he robbed the Ultramar on Kenmount Road later that day.
Four days later, he robbed the Marie’s Mini-Mart on Thorburn Road.
He struck the Ultramar on Kenmount Road again on Jan. 29 and made off with money and a carton of cigarettes.
He committed his last robbery on March 19, when he held up Marie’s Mini-Mart on Blackmarsh Road.
Carter pleaded guilty to six counts each of robbery and having his face masked, five counts of possessing a weapon and one count of theft under $5,000, which happened March 6 at Sears, where he took several bottles of perfume.