Scales of justice
Derry Ian Bird’s current stay in jail has just been extended by several years.
P.E.I. Supreme Court Justice Gordon Campbell sentenced Bird, 22, of Charlottetown Friday to five and a half years for armed robbery in connection with the robbing and beating of a convicted drug dealer.
The time will be served consecutively with the three and a half-year sentence Bird is already serving for several unrelated charges including drug trafficking.
Bird was also sentenced Friday to sentences of one year and two years respectively for wearing a mask and committing assault in the 2012 robbery of Dean Fairhurst in Emyvale. Both sentences are to be served concurrently with his five and a half-year sentence for armed robbery.
The Crown was seeking a six-year sentence while Bird’s defence lawyer argued for a sentence in the range of two to three years.
Before sentencing Bird, Campbell highlighted differences between Bird and Chase Roper, who was sentenced in June to four years in prison for his role in the same robbery.
Campbell noted that Roper pleaded guilty, while Bird did not. Also, Roper did not have a prior conviction, while Bird has several.
Campbell says the robbery was planned and deliberate, adding people expect to be safe and secure in their homes.
“This is a serious crime and it deserves a serious punishment,’’ he said.
Defence lawyer Brendan Hubley pleaded with the court not to give up on Bird, noting the man is still “very youthful’’, remains a good candidate for rehabilitation and has a very supportive family.
“This isn’t a hardened criminal who has been doing this for years and years and years,’’ said Hubley.
Given the opportunity to speak before learning his sentence, Bird told the court that he wanted to say that his family never lied for him and that he will use his time to further his education and better himself.
Both of Bird’s parents took the stand during his trial, as did Bird.
In delivering a guilty verdict last month, Campbell said he concluded that none of the trio’s testimony was credible.
The judge went on to say he believed the testimony of Fairhurst, who told the court two men broke into his home, held a gun to his head, beat him, tied him up and stole his drugs.
Bird is appealing the guilty verdict.