A 23-year-old Charlottetown man with what the Crown described as a violent criminal record was convicted Wednesday in provincial court of robbery with violence in connection with an incident last February.
The guilty verdict was handed down in the case of Devon Morris Fraser MacLean.
Evidence presented at trial indicated MacLean and the victim, who were acquaintances but had not seen each other for some time, had decided to hang out together that night.
At the end of the evening, the victim drove MacLean to a location where a friend was to have picked him up. The friend did not show.
At some point while they were sitting in the victim’s car, MacLean sucker-punched him.
MacLean then pulled the victim’s coat over his head, placed him in a chokehold and threatened to beat him with a tire iron if he didn’t give MacLean his wallet.
The victim reluctantly surrendered his wallet, which contained about $600 in cash, the remnants of a $1,000 cheque he’d received in an insurance settlement.
He said MacLean then punched him in the head a second time, got out of the car and fled the scene.
When MacLean left the car, the victim saw the tire iron on the floor of the car in front of the passenger seat where MacLean had been sitting.
The victim went to the police less than 24 hours later.
MacLean took the stand in his own defence. He denied robbing the victim and alleged the victim had actually robbed him of $220, threatening him with a dirty needle.
MacLean said he did not file any report with police claiming he was robbed. He told the court he doesn’t like to talk to the police.
MacLean testified he and the victim smoked marijuana that night and the victim used prescription meds via a needle he (the victim) had tucked away. He said as well that he and the victim had spent that night trying to score more pills.
That testimony directly contradicted evidence from the victim.
During cross-examination by MacLean’s defence counsel, the victim denied suggestions he had smoked marijuana with MacLean or that he had taken any prescription drugs that night. He testified he had used drugs in the past but had been clean now for two years.
There was no corroborative evidence to support MacLean’s claims.
Orr accepted the evidence of the victim, finding him to be a credible witness who had testified in an honest and straightforward manner. She did not accept MacLean’s evidence, saying that it made absolutely no sense.
Could it reasonably be true? Orr didn’t think so.
The Crown said MacLean, who was heavily into his addictions at the time and looking for drugs, saw an easy way to make some money and he took it.
Orr said the Crown had established all elements of the case against MacLean.
The case has been adjourned to Oct. 7, at which time counsel will address the question of sentence.
Crown counsel Jeff MacDonald told the court he intends to seek a lengthy term of incarceration for MacLean due to the nature of this offence and his lengthy criminal record, which includes crimes of a violent nature.
An update to MacLean’s last pre-sentence report may be sought.
MacLean is also facing charges of theft and trespassing at night.
He is expected to enter pleas to those charges when he returns to court next month.