Robbery with syringe nets woman 13 months in jail

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Prince Edward Island provincial court

A 20-year-old Charlottetown woman who stole money from a Needs convenience store while armed with a syringe has been sentenced to 13 months in the provincial correctional centre.

Allison MacKenzie told the clerk at the store she robbed that the syringe she carried had HIV contaminated blood in it.

The clerk gave her $553.

She used that money to buy drugs.

The court was told MacKenzie's addiction to opiates was costing her $200 a day.

She was also using cocaine regularly at the time of the robbery.

Upon release from  custody she will be placed on probation for two years.

MacKenzie's sentence was subsequently reduced to nine months in recognition of time served on remand.

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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  • thoughtful
    April 30, 2014 - 10:55

    sadly, addiction drives a large number of crimes, this being one of them. We cannot give addicts a carte blanche to behave badly and excuse it to their addiction. In addition to being empathetic to the addict, their struggles and their need to SEEK help (as you cannot impose this successfully), we also need to consider protection of the public, general and specific deterrents, and personal accountability for one's actions.

  • Phil
    April 29, 2014 - 19:49

    Addition is a choice. Why can't people understand that some washed up good for nothing junkie that calls it a sickness when they get caught breaking the law is a insult to everyone battling against cancer, or other illnesses. They made a choice to do drugs in the first place

    • Yeah you are right
      April 29, 2014 - 21:11

      I can see how it would be insulting. Addiction is much worse for many reasons, including attitudes like yours. Most people that I know who have battled addiction would much prefer to have cancer instead. That way, if the cancer is cured with radiation and chemo it is gone. With addiction, it is a lifetime disease that has to be managed everyday.

    • voter
      April 30, 2014 - 05:43

      i'm an addict - i'll take addiction any day rather than CANCER(and many other diseases) -- regardless of the cause, addictions are manageable !!! there are many really terrible illnesses and diseases in the world --most are much,much worse than any addiction

    • Blaine
      April 30, 2014 - 07:38

      Phil: It's attitudes like your that make addiction even harder to deal with.How dare you call ANYONE a "washed up good for nothing junkie.Your a real piece of work.I hope no one in your family every have any issues with your attitude!!!!!.

    • Hope
      April 30, 2014 - 08:07

      Phil, it is ridiculous to compare diseases of any kind. They are all terrible and present unique challenges for those affected. Just because you don't understand why addiction isn't a disease - and didn't bother trying to learn about it because you are too opinionated - doesn't mean it is any less devastating than another disease. It is people like you who contribute to the problem.

    • GetEducated
      April 30, 2014 - 09:53

      So should lung cancer that is a result of smoking cigarettes be treated? Smoking cigarettes is a choice. Should diabetes that is a result of an unhealthy diet be treated? After all, every bite of food you put in your mouth is your choice. Addiction is a disease. The choice element is only a factor until you are addicted and then the "choice" is removed.... duh... that is why it is called "addiction". There is a ton of information on how it changes your brain. Use your brain... get educated on what addication does to your brain before you open your mouth.

  • sad
    April 29, 2014 - 16:50

    This young lady did this out of desperation to feed her addiction. It just goes to show how powerful these drugs are when they are willing to commit an act like this! I have been there. I am an addict who is now in recovery and am two years clean. ( had to leave PEI to get help tho, would have died here on a waiting list). This girl needs treatment for the illness she has not jail time! Addiction is a progressive fatal disease..it advances..it has signs stages and symptoms like any other disease Committing crime to feed that addiction is a symptom of the disease. She need treatment. Going to jail might dry her out but while in jail her disease is growing stronger and waiting for her release to become active again...jail will let her family get some rest so they don't have to worry where she is every night but it won't fix anything. I pray for her and her family and hope she will someday get help.

  • Kelly-Lynn
    April 29, 2014 - 14:10

    Just saying that this young girl is sick as many other young people on this Island....People are going to talk lots but you never know when it will knock on your own door...God Bless this young person and the many more that have been before her and the ones that will come after her...It is a sickness that many will critize because they know nothing about it because they have never been down that road but to the ones that are dealing with it whether it be the addict or family members or friends stand strong support each other and be strong...Don't let the remarks that you read on these posts make you feel any worse than you already do.......

    • Tandi Wolters
      April 29, 2014 - 15:33

      Well said Kelly-Lynn unless you are dealing with or have dealt with addictions you do not know what its like as either the addict or family. Hope all the best for all dealing with it .

  • tandi
    April 29, 2014 - 14:07

    I know Allison personally and hope she gets the help she needs while in jail. Drugs addiction is such a problem on pei hoe to be read the guardian some day and not read about drugs

  • YetAgain
    April 29, 2014 - 13:25

    And so the saga of addiction and incarceration continues. This will be Doug Currie's legacy. Cheaper to treat addictions then jail addicts but PEI Gov will ensure that doesn't happen unless it is recommended in 1000 reports.

  • Craig Magee
    April 29, 2014 - 12:52

    It baffles my mind the sentencing in PEI or in all of Canada for that case , last week a female sentenced to 8 mths for stabbing a male in his sleep which could have easily killed the male , such a violent act to do to another person , however in this case no one harmed but the accused gets 13 mths , 4 mths longer then a person that attacked another person violently. I guess we care more about a stores money then someone's life. Don't get me wrong I think 13 mths for a armed robbery is a joke , should b at least federal time .

    • intobed
      April 29, 2014 - 15:31

      I agree with you completely. Thirteen months for an armed robbery, yet a woman with a violent criminal record get just eight months for stabbing a man in the chest. I noticed the article did not give the judge's name in this case.

    • legal beagle
      April 30, 2014 - 07:36

      Craig, the sentencing discrepancies are due to the seriousness and punishment sections of the offences involved. The woman who stabbed her boyfriend was charged with aggravated assault, and plea bargained down to the lesser included offence of Sec 267 CC which is assault causing bodily harm/w weapon: dual procedure offence, maximum penalty of less than 10 years. Robbery is sec 344 CC which is a straight indictable offence with max penalty of life in prison. This is what limits how the Judge may impose sentences. The judge does not have any input into the police's decision on what charge is laid, nor does the Judge control the plea bargain process between Crown and Defence counsel. The Judge must follow sentencing guidelines and case law respecting other matters of the same offence sections. The seriousness of the offence as charged/convicted and the difference in penalty sections is the limiting factor here for sentencing imposed.

  • justsaying
    April 29, 2014 - 11:44

    I really hope this young girl gets the help she needs

  • Janice
    April 29, 2014 - 11:30

    Um, perhaps it is not prudent to disclose the amount of money taken? " Could "An undisclosed sum" be a more appropriate statement, as this may encourage those who may have a similar venture in mind?

    • skooter
      April 29, 2014 - 16:05

      It all depends who you are anyways