Car­bon­ear man sen­tenced for armed rob­bery

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

A Car­bon­ear man has been handed a steep sen­tence for com­mit­ting an Aug. 20, 2012 armed rob­bery in South River.

Michael Brian Bow­man, 27, ap­peared in pro­vin­cial court in Har­bour Grace via video call from the West Coast Cor­rec­tional In­sti­tu­tion in Stephenville on Oct. 31.

He looked on solemnly as Judge Jac­que­line Brazil read her de­ci­sion, and did not make any com­ments.

“While there are many mit­i­gat­ing fac­tors with re­spect to his cir­cum­stances, the ag­gra­vat­ing fac­tors out­weight them,” she said. “The most ag­gra­vat­ing fac­tor is the ter­ri­fy­ing as­pect of the rob­bery it­self, and par-

tic­u­larly the fact that the ri­fle was loaded with a bul­let in the cham­ber and the ham­mer cocked.”

Brazil sen­tenced Bow­man to five years in prison on the count of the use of a firearm to com­mit a rob­bery. The rest of Bow­man’s sen­tence is as fol­lows: • one year for be­ing dis­guised with in­tent; • one year for point­ing a firearm; and, • nine months for pos­sess­ing a weapon or imi­ta­tion for a dan­ger­ous pur­pose.

All sen­tences will be served con­cur­rently with the five-year sen­tence.

Two other charges — us­ing a firearm in com­mis­sion or at­tempted com­mis­sion of in­dictable of­fence and care­lessly us­ing firearms or am­mu­ni­tion — were con­di­tion­ally with­drawn.

Bow­man has been in cus­tody since Aug. 20, 2012. That is a to­tal of 438 days. Brazil said he will be credited with 1.5 days for each day served, for a to­tal of 657.

As Brazil fin­ished read­ing her de­ci­sion, fam­i­lies and friends of Bow­man wept.

Bow­man is also pro­hib­ited from own­ing a firearm for 10 years, along with a life­time ban of pro­hib­ited weapons, firearms, de­vices and am­mu­ni­tion.

Since be­ing in­car­cer­ated Bow­man has had to de­clare bank­ruptcy. As a re­sult, Brazil waived the vic­tim fine sur­charge. Treat­ment The rea­son be­hind the brazen day­light rob­bery has been at­trib­uted to Bow­man’s ad­dic­tion to di­lau­did.

He re­quested and com­pleted the Mod­er­ate In­ten­sity Man­age­ment of Of­fender Sub­stance Abuse (MI­MOSA) pro­gram dur­ing his in­car­cer- ation at Her Majesty’s Pen­i­ten­tiary in St. John’s.

The pro­gram was nine hours a week for seven weeks.

Ter­ri­fy­ing in­ci­dent

Ac­cord­ing to the RCMP, a masked man car­ry­ing a ri­fle en­tered Bac­calieu Trail Phar­macy on Aug. 20, marched to the rear of the build­ing, pointed a ri­fle at the phar­ma­cist and de­manded a spe­cific pre­scrip­tion drug.

The weapon was later de­scribed as a .22 cal­i­bre Moss­berg ri­fle.

Ac­cord­ing to owner Linda Sesk, the phar­ma­cist com­plied and threw the drugs on the floor near the sus­pect.

There were five em­ploy­ees in the store at the time, though it’s not be­lieved any cus­tomers wit­nessed the in­ci­dent.

Bow­man fled the scene in a car — a white Mit­subishi Lancer — and was later ob­served trav­el­ling to­wards Bay Roberts on Vet­er­ans Me­mo­rial High­way.

Of­fi­cers with the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion Dis­trict RCMP later stopped the car at the ac­cess road to Har­bour Grace, where an ar­rest was made with­out in­ci­dent.

The loaded .22 cal­i­bre ri­fle was found in the ve­hi­cle.

Sesk later de­scribed Bow­man as a “very des­per­ate young per­son who couldn’t get a pre­scrip­tion filled, and needed it right away.”

Sesk said her em­ploy­ees were “ter­ri­fied” by the in­ci­dent.

Po­lice de­scribed the in­ci­dent as a “des­per­ate, dan­ger­ous and vi­o­lent act,” and sug­gested Bow­man had an “ad­dic­tion is­sue.”

Bow­man had no crim­i­nal record prior to the in­ci­dent.

Michael Bow­man

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