June 26, 2013 - 5:29 PM
"IT IS DISTURBING TO ME THAT YOU HAVE GLORIFIED CRIMINAL CONDUCT:" JUDGE
KELOWNA - Robbing a jewelry store, shooting at police and kidnapping a driver will fetch a 20-year-old Surrey man eight years in jail. Devan Marckus Wong pleaded guilty to multiple offences stemming from a 2011 robbery of Kelowna's Premier Pawn shop and was read his sentence today at the Kelowna Supreme Court.
On December 6, 2011 Wong entered the pawn shop on Bredin Road, masked and holding a semi-automatic handgun. Pointing the gun at the shop owner and employee he proceeded to fill multiple bags with $250,000 worth of jewelry. During the course of the robbery he also scared-off a customer by aiming his gun at the individual.
It didn't stop there. Wong attempted to escape down an alley, shooting twice at police officers in pursuit. He then fled the scene by kidnapping a pizza delivery driver at gunpoint, forcing him to drive to West Kelowna from which point Wong disappeared and somehow caught a flight back to Vancouver.
Wong will be given credit for time spent in custody, reducing his prison sentence to six years and 230 days. Alone, each offence comes with a minimum of five years in prison, but Justice John Savage says he had to consider the cumulative impact on Wong, who he says still has an opportunity for rehabilitation. Wong worked as a roofer for 18 months and a pre-sentence report describes him as a bright student who struggled with behavioural problems in school.
Savage decided to make the sentences for each of the offences (robbery, shooting at police and kidnapping) concurrent rather than consecutive.
In this case he says the sentence “should not be unduly long or harsh” or “exceed the culpability of the offender.”
Savage noted Wong was still a young man with the potential to turn his life around. Wong has a lengthy criminal record with prior offences of theft and assault. The robbery at Kelowna's Premier Pawn shop was Wong's third robbery, one clearly pre-meditated, Savage says. Wong had prepared by bringing a mask, gun and black duffel bag.
Savage asked Wong to stand up before reading his sentence.
“Mr. Wong it is disturbing to me that you have glorified criminal conduct,” he said.
Savage also decided he could not give the accused enhanced credit for the days spent in custody leading up the trial. Following his conviction Wong was hostile towards prison staff, requiring enhanced supervision.
“The accused did not behave well during his time in remand,” Savage said and cautioned Wong to improve his behaviour if he expects to enjoy his freedom in the long run
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013