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Two men plead guilty to 2011 Dundas jewelry heist

By Craig Campbell, News Staff

Two of the men convicted of the November 2011 armed robbery of Kevin Martin Fine Jewellery in downtown Dundas were out on bail for a similar armed robbery committed a few months earlier.

Both William Hannah and Anthony Clark entered guilty pleas on several charges last Thursday related to the July 2011 robbery of a Barton Street pawn shop, in addition to their previous convictions for the Dundas jewelry store robbery.

Hannah, 26, was handed a total sentence of nine years, minus two years for time served. He will serve a maximum of seven more years. The sentence includes five years for the Kevin Martin Fine Jewellery Story robbery. Clark’s sentencing was deferred while reports of behavioural issues during his incarceration are reviewed.

Jason Long was sentenced to five years in October 2012 for his role in the Dundas robbery, and Ronald Staats was sentenced to 32 months in March 2012 for the same incident. Staats was eligible for day parole in August 2012, but did not apply for a hearing. He is eligible to apply for full parole this month.

Justice Dale Paraveski denied a Crown request for a restitution order on Hannah in the amount of  $150,000 to Kevin Martin Fine Jewellery, and $45,000 to the owner of the Barton Street pawn shop. Similar requests were denied in the previous sentencings.

Martin said he has not recovered any of the jewelry stolen from his store that day and stated in a victim impact statement that he has not received any compensation through insurance, which only covers small “smash-and-grab” thefts, not armed robberies or large inventory losses.

The Crown also requested the judge order $7,000 found in Clark’s possession during his arrest be returned to Kevin Martin Jewellery. That issue will apparently wait until Clark’s sentencing in March.

“The Crown’s opinion is it’s proceeds from the Kevin Martin robbery and that it be returned and that you make that order,” assistant Crown Jim Vincelli told the court.

Hannah’s attorney Kim Edward requested a total of six years for the pawn shop conviction and seven years for the Dundas case to be served concurrently for a total sentence of six years.

Vincelli argued the sentences could not be served concurrently and although he suggested the sentence should be a total of 15 years, he acknowledged several mitigating factors -including Hannah’s relatively young age and lack of previous convictions requiring penitentiary time – should bump the sentence down to between 10 and 11 years.

Vincelli argued concurrent sentences for the two thefts “makes no sense at all and is something that should not be encouraged.”

Clark’s attorney, Andrew Confente told court Thursday morning he was not ready to proceed with sentencing because he needed time to review reports on behavioural incidents involving his client from the three facilities he’s served time in since November 2011.

Confente said a review of the reports would influence his decision whether to pursue increased credit for time served, and a Charter of Rights application if the Criminal Code does not permit an increased credit request.Confente acknowledged there were 18 infractions on Clark’s record.

“Notwithstanding that, I will require an opportunity to review (it),” Confente said.

He said his client has raised issues to him about his experience in prison. An additional appearance was scheduled for Feb. 14, where Confente is expected to subpoena more of Clark’s prison records, in advance of a new sentencing hearing in March.

Although Long identified himself as the gunman prior to his sentencing, there is still some question which of the four individuals were actually in Kevin Martin Fine Jewellery during the Nov. 10, 2011, armed robbery, and which one of them was holding the gun pointed at a 14-year-old staff member who since quit her job due to stress.

Edward used Long’s court statement to bolster her argument that her client was not the gunman and possibly not in the store during the robbery. But Vinelli argued against such a finding.

The Crown called Detecitve Michael Dunham to the stand in order to enter police booking reports for each of the men involved in the Dundas theft. The reports included the height and weight of each man at the time of booking.

Dunham said Staats was 5’7” and 128 lbs; Long was 5’7” and 154 lbs, while Hannah was 5’11” and 218 lbs.

Vincelli told the court one of the jewellery store staff members reported the gunman was “the tallest and heaviest” of the three in the store.

He argued it doesn’t make much difference who actually held the gun, but said the Crown’s opinion is it was Hannah.

Hannah also received a lifetime ban on owning a firearm.

Clark’s sentencing is scheduled for March.

 

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