Penticton man was pistol whipped and robbed in his own home; attacker jailed | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton man was pistol whipped and robbed in his own home; attacker jailed

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A man known as Big Joe was sentenced to three years in prison today for his role in a violent home invasion in Penticton.

Josef Bretislav Pavlik, born in 1982, pleaded guilty to two of the four charges facing him in relation to a break in and theft on Oct. 22, 2019 on Winnipeg Street.

The court heard that Pavlik entered the home in the middle of the day while the victim was asleep. He was armed with what was believed to be a handgun and joined by four or five other men. One of the other men was a former tenant of the victim who had been evicted.

Money was demanded from the victim who said he had nothing to give to “Mr. Big Joe,” who was ultimately identified as Pavlik.

Pavlik struck the victim on the head with the pistol twice, and when he did so the second time, it accidentally fired into the wall.

In what Judge Shannon Keyes called “the strangest of coincidences,” special constables happened to be conducting surveillance for an unrelated investigation on Maple Street, where Pavlik and his posse would take the stolen goods to.

After the special constables noticed four men carrying a TV, two guitars, an amp and laptop into a residence, they reported it to the local RCMP.

Local officers responded and got a search warrant for the Maple Street property.

“Everyone in the residence was wearing bandanas,” Judge Keyes heard.

Police recovered the items which were confirmed to have belonged to the victim and arrested Pavlik.

Pavlik was born in Zimbabwe, Africa, moved to Canada when he was three and was raised in Prince George. He went to school in Alberta to become a millwright. He has numerous prior convictions and the earliest was an assault charge in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan in 2006.

Nick Acker, Pavlik’s defence lawyer, told the Court his client is remorseful and upset at himself for making the decisions that landed him where he is. Those decisions were exacerbated by addiction which he is trying to overcome, and he has never gotten serious help to deal with it. He particularly wants to overcome addiction for his wife and four children who live in Saskatchewan, and to be there for his ill mother who lives in Penticton.

Acker said Pavlik has suffered several serious injuries as an adult, including an accident at the oil rigs in Alberta that left him with a brain injury and “significant cognitive and memory impairments.”

Acker asked Judge Keyes to recommend he spend his time incarcerated at the Nanaimo Correctional Centre, as it is known for having an effective addictions treatment program. Judge Keyes agreed.

Pavlik apologized to the Court for making foolish decisions. He said he wants to be a better dad and that he had no excuses for his actions.

He pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon and break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence. Charges of robbery using a restricted or prohibited firearm and uttering threats were stayed.

READ MORE: Sentencing hearing begins for former Kelowna social worker guilty of fraud

As Judge Keyes was deliberating the appropriate sentence, she wanted to be clear Pavlik’s intention when the offence was committed.

"In order to impose a proper sentence, I have to consider the seriousness of the offence, the nature of the offence, et cetera. And break and enter for example with an intent to eat a cookie on a countertop might be one sort of indictable offence, conceivably that would be mischief or theft. Break and enter with intent to assault someone with a handgun might be another (indictable offence), break and enter with an intent to use a handgun to rob someone might be another, and I need to know what it is you're saying the intent was."

The intent would have been to commit theft, Acker acknowledged, although Pavlik did not plead guilty to the charge relating to theft.

"That's acceptable to the Crown?" Judge Keyes asked.

"It is, your Honour," she was told, as Pavlik believed he was recovering property that belonged to someone else. "But it does fit that the intent was theft."

Pavlik was given credit for 666 days served through enhanced credit, leaving him with 429 days to be served. Time in prison will be followed by two years of probation, and during that time he is not to contact the victim, the victim’s girlfriend who was also home during the invasion, or be anywhere near the Winnipeg Street property.

Not even on the other side of the road, Judge Keyes warned.

A lifetime firearm ban was imposed as well.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dan Walton or call 250-488-3065 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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