Armed robber sentenced to more than four years in jail

Rosie Mullaley rmullaley@thetelegram.com
Published on June 12, 2010

He was bullied as a kid, got into drugs as a teen and, as an adult, committed armed robberies.

Now, Jeffrey Edward Hunt will have plenty of time to think about his future.

The 22-year-old from St. John's - who committed two armed robberies in two days last winter - was sentenced to four years and two months in jail Friday afternoon.

Several of his family members were in provincial court to support him. Many of them wept as Hunt was being led out of the courtroom to be transported to a federal penitentiary.

He was bullied as a kid, got into drugs as a teen and, as an adult, committed armed robberies.

Now, Jeffrey Edward Hunt will have plenty of time to think about his future.

The 22-year-old from St. John's - who committed two armed robberies in two days last winter - was sentenced to four years and two months in jail Friday afternoon.

Several of his family members were in provincial court to support him. Many of them wept as Hunt was being led out of the courtroom to be transported to a federal penitentiary.

In all, Hunt pleaded guilty to 19 charges, including two counts of armed robbery, one count of attempted armed robbery, having his face masked, two counts of theft and numerous breaches of court orders.

The first robbery took place Feb. 24 at Hamilton Avenue Convenience. He and another man both wore masks when they entered the store with knives. They robbed cigarettes and money from the clerk, but also tried to rob a customer.

The next day, Hunt and another man held up the Blackmarsh Road Ultramar gas station.

In the video shown in court during the sentencing hearing, Hunt and another man were seen walking into the store with crow bars. There was audio in the video as well and the men demanded "almost in military style" the clerk give them cigarettes and money. They also demanded the clerk give them money from inside the safe behind the counter, but the clerk managed to convince them he did not know how to open it.

They got away with a small amount of each.

"It's clear they meant business," Judge Robert Hyslop said during sentencing. "How terrifying that must have been."

On the same day, Hunt stole a van from the parking lot of Tim Hortons. The owner got the help of a friend at the shop to pursue Hunt and forced him to stop. They forcibly removed him from the vehicle.

In October 2008, Hunt also used a female friend's bank card to withdraw $120 for himself.

The judge ordered Hunt to pay more than $1,100 restitution to the owner of the van, and to pay back the $120 stolen from the woman.

Crown prosecutor Shawn Patten had asked the judge to impose a sentencing between four and six years. Defence lawyer Randy Piercey had asked for a jail term of between two and four years.

Hyslop settled on 50 months, noting a harsher penalty would be too crushing on Hunt, who has prospects of being rehabilitated.

rgillingham@thetelegram.com