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Guilty plea in home invasion of 85-year-old West Kelowna woman

July 12, 2016 - 8:30 PM

KELOWNA – A West Kelowna man has pleaded guilty to multiple charges after breaking into the home of an 85-year-old woman and robbing her last fall.

Benjamin Duane Keith Barnhart, 25, appeared in Kelowna Provincial Court via video this morning, July 12, and pleaded guilty to breaking and entering, disguising his face, theft under $5,000 and breach of probation.

He also elected trial by judge on the other charges and judge Gregory Koturbash ordered a presentence report and psychological assessment.

An RCMP media release sent out last October identified Barnhart, 25, as the man arrested for breaking into the home on Butt Road looking for cash and pain medication. A woman in her mid-80s confronted him when he broke through her kitchen window at 2:30 a.m.

Const. Jesse O’Donaghey said at a press conference in November the man attempted to gag and restrain her but she managed to escape.

Barnhart was arrested the next day after allegedly using a stolen credit card while being filmed by a security camera.

He was charged with break and enter, three counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, commit an indictable offence with his face masked, unlawful confinement, possession of stolen property, forgery and possession of methamphetamine.

Barnhart has a criminal record going back to 2013 that includes numerous breaches, thefts and criminal harrassment.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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