Teen sentenced for role in crime that shut down mall
A 16-year-old Glace Bay boy received a sentence Thursday of house arrest and probation for his role in crime that shut down the Mayflower Mall last December.
The teen, who cannot be identified in accordance with the Youth Criminal Justice Act, and a 16-year-old female coaccused both pleaded guilty to a single count of conveying a false message. The girl was sentenced previously.
The pair both worked in the food court of the mall and decided that a good way to get out of work early was to leave a note claiming there were armed men in the mall along with bombs planted in vehicles in the parking lot.
The note read: “There are five gunmen inside the Mayflower Mall today Sunday December 28th 2014. They are heavily armed and ready to attack. There are also numerous explosive devices under vehicles in the parking lot. These devices are motion triggered and will cause significant damage to the surrounding area. We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.”
The note was found by another mall worker and turned over to security which immediately called police. The mall, the largest in eastern Nova Scotia, was closed for several hours while police, fire and emergency responders combed the area searching for weapons and explosives. None were found. Mall officials estimated a loss off about $200,000 in sales as a result of the closure.
“They knew what they were doing was wrong,” said Judge David Ryan, in passing sentence Thursday.
Ryan said the intent of the pair was to get out of work early but instead they caused a community to deploy a host of resources to a fake situation.
Prosecutor Mark Gouthro said the community was delivered a “sucker punch” as a result of the threat in having to tie up personnel to investigate a phoney threat.
He recommended a sentence of six months house arrest followed by 16 months probation, which would include 200 hours of community service work and a two-year weapon ban.
Defence lawyer Tony Mozvik urged the court to taper the sentence slightly in order to accommodate his client’s mental health needs. The boy has been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder along with ex- periencing social anxiety.
He noted that the mall has agreed to allow his client to return to the facility and that his former employer is prepared to rehire him. Both teens had no prior criminal records.
The youth himself apologized for his actions.
During his period of house arrest, Ryan ordered the boy to observe an 8 p.m. to 7 a.m curfew with exceptions for employment, medical emergency or education-related activities. When out past his curfew, he is to be in the company of one of his parents.
During the house arrest, he is to complete 40 hours of community service and an additional 160 hours during his probation period.
He is to take all counselling as recommended by his probation officer and he is to have no contact with the co-accused.