Deal goes wrong


Eastern Reporter - - Front Page - Kristie Lim

A MAN has been given a twoyear sus­pended sen­tenced over an armed rob­bery in West­min­ster when he threat­ened a woman with a hand­gun to pay for metham­phetamines.

The pair had ear­lier agreed to a deal via Face­book.

Supreme Court Judge Joseph McGrath sen­tenced Matthew James Rice (22) last month to two years jail sus­pended for 12 months with su­per­vi­sion and pro­grams such as psy­cho­log­i­cal, coun­selling and sub­stance abuse as in­di­cated by the com­mu­nity cor­rec­tions officer.

But Judge McGrath sus­pended the sen­tence, tak­ing into ac­count Rice’s early guilty plea.

“If you do not of­fend in the next 12 months and com­ply with all rel­e­vant su­per­vi­sion and pro­gram or­ders, the two years im­pris­on­ment will no longer ap­ply for breach pur­poses,” he said.

Rice went to the woman’s home about 3am on April 14, in re­sponse to a lengthy text con­ver­sa­tion with the woman about her Face­book re­quest for drugs.

Rice agreed to sup­ply the woman with 1.75g of metham­phetamines in ex­change for $465.

Once he ar­rived, he waited for her to bring the cash from in­side the house be­fore point­ing a small black hand­gun at her.

She screamed and took sev­eral steps back­wards to­wards her house but he stepped for­ward and pointed the gun close to her head and took the money.

The woman’s part­ner came to the front door and Rice fled.

He was charged by Mirra­booka Po­lice on April 24.

Judge McGrath said the sen­tence took into ac­count that Rice had been in cus­tody since April 24.

“The other as­pect is that you are com­mit­ted to the Teen Chal­lenge Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Train­ing Cen­tre course, which has a his­tory of suc­cess with per­sons of your back­ground,” he said.

“I wish to give you that op­por­tu­nity in the com­mu­nity.”

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