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Sledgehammer smash-in at jewelry store earns Corner Brook man 15 months in jail

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Ashley Park is still facing charges of armed robbery related to an incident that occurred hours after his initial release

CORNER BROOK, N.L. —

Breaking into a jewelry store with a sledgehammer and smashing open display cases and stealing rings and watches valued at close to $11,000 during a minutes-long crime spree has earned a Corner Brook man significant jail time.

Ashley Park was arrested Jan. 4 after police officers, called to Alteen’s Jewelry by its security alarm, arrived and noticed him walking across the street with blood on his nose and a blood-soaked tissue wrapped around one of his fingers. Park ran when one of the officers attempted to detain him, but police tackled and arrested him. On the ground next to where he was arrested, police found several watches. They found more watches and a number of rings when they searched Park.

Security cameras in the jewelry store captured Park committing the theft and he admitted as much to investigators when they interviewed him, telling them he had cut his finger while stealing the jewelry and had hidden the sledgehammer. Police found the hammer in the exact location Park had described.


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Police charged Park and released him on an undertaking at 3 p.m. that day, with a condition that he stay inside his residence between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. They went to his house around 11 that night to check on him, and found that he wasn’t home.

Park was arrested the next day and charged with break and entry, resisting arrest and two counts of breaching court orders. He pleaded guilty to all the charges, and provincial court Judge Wayne Gorman handed down his sentence Monday.

Gorman noted that Park, 36, has a lengthy criminal record with 110 prior convictions, mostly for property offences and breaching court orders. He also has a history of assault, assault with a weapon, armed robbery and other crimes.

The Crown argued for a jail term of 16 months, while Park’s lawyer argued for one of nine to 12 months.

Gorman determined 15 months was appropriate.

“It adequately reflects the seriousness of the offences committed by Mr. Park and his degree of moral blameworthiness,” the judge said.

He gave Park 135 days credit for the time he has spent in custody on remand.

The judge also ordered Park to pay $759 in restitution for the damage he did to the jewelry store.

Park has other charges before the court: he is set to go to trial in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court for an armed robbery against a woman at an ATM in Corner Brook on Jan. 5, hours after police did the curfew check and found him not at home. In addition to the armed robbery charge, Park is facing a charge of possessing a weapon — a knife — for a dangerous purpose.


Tara Bradbury reports on justice and the courts in St. John's
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Twitter: @tara_bradbury
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