Charlottetown man steals purse, then hits victim with vehicle

Published on June 12, 2014

Prince Edward Island provincial court

©Guardian photo

Kevin Compton strongly denied taking any purse, but his victim and a store clerk clearly saw a bulge and a strap hanging down under his coat.

A Charlottetown court heard the whole story this week, of how Compton, 58,  stole a woman's purse at a Charlottetown grocery store, then ran into her with his car while she tried to stop his escape.

Provincial court judge John Douglas gave Compton a suspended sentence Wednesday, with 18 months probation.

The court was told the victim did not suffer any serious physical injuries as a result of Compton’s actions but that the emotional impact had been significant.

The court was told that Compton was confronted at a Charlottetown grocery store, repeatedly denying that he took any purse.

The victim and a clerk at the store could plainly see a bulge in his jacket and at some point the purse strap was seem hanging below the hem of his jacket.

The victim and the clerk both tried to get the purse from Compton. Eventually he took the purse out of his jacket and threw it on the ground.

A short time later he was set to drive away, but the victim stood behind his vehicle to prevent it from leaving.

Compton backed into her, striking her at about hip level, the court was told.

The clerk pounded on his window, telling him to stop the car.

When he was later arrested, Compton had no explanation for his actions.

He told police that he knew backing up in the parking lot was dangerous but the victim wouldn’t move.

Compton had no prior criminal record.

A pre-sentence report said that Compton didn’t seem to understand the seriousness of the situation.

The Crown originally charged Compton with theft and dangerous driving but withdrew the dangerous driving charge.

As part of the court order, Douglas said that Compton must not contact the victim.

He must also perform 20 hours of community service work and is required to pay $100 to the victims of crime fund.

Compton is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle for the duration of his probation, save for medical appointments and emergencies.

Any use of a vehicle while on probation must be approved in advance by his probation officer, said Douglas.

When asked if he had anything to say, Compton spoke of his own mobility issues and the need to use his own vehicle to get to medical appointments.

He also needs to drive his mother to her appointments, Compton told the court.