Vernon robbery results in two-year sentence | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon robbery results in two-year sentence

Vernon Courthouse
November 20, 2018 - 2:00 PM

VERNON - A Vernon man who developed an opioid addiction after coming out of hospital was sentenced to two years in prison yesterday for robbery.

Heron Taylor, 33, was sentenced to two years minus time served at Vernon Provincial Court on Monday, Nov. 19. Combined with his time served (he has been in custody since January), his real-time sentence will be around six months. He also received a two-year probation after being convicted of robbery.

On Jan. 12 of this year, Taylor entered Charlie's Grocery near 32 Avenue and Alexis Park Drive in Vernon. He wore a mask as he demanded money from the cashier and brandished a hammer in a threatening manner. Taylor fled with the cashbox, but the owner subdued him until the police arrived.

At the sentence hearing last Monday, no victim impact statements were submitted. Judge Jeremy Guild discussed the crime and Taylor's history before handing down his sentence.

Judge Guild described how Taylor, who has no criminal record outside of the January incident, suffered a brain injury as a result of an assault in 2015. The attack left Taylor with an oxycontin addiction, which evolved into a heroin addiction due to, in Judge Guild's words, Taylor "falling through the cracks in the medical system."

Taylor's addiction left him with severe debts, which is why he chose to rob the grocery store. He was actually implicated in two other robberies, but sentences for those offences will be served at the same time. 

"He felt coerced," Judge Guild said.

Judge Guild sentenced Taylor to two years imprisonment and two years probation. He encouraged Taylor to make a plan for when he's released.

"Try to make sure things are set up so you don't fall through the cracks again," he said.

"Opioids [are] not something I ever want to go back to," Taylor said.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Sean Mott or call (250) 864-7494 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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