Teen sen­tenced for role in crime that shut down mall

Cape Breton Post - - NEWS - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF

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.

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