Burton sentenced to six years, four months for home invasion
Joshua Walter Burton hopes to stay away from drugs and advance his education while he spends the next few years in a federal prison.
Last Friday, Judge Jacqueline Brazil sentenced the 23-yearold from Bay Roberts to six years and fourth months in prison for invading the home of an 85-year-old woman and trying to get her to leave with him to withdraw money from her bank account.
Burton spoke briefly to reporters following his sentencing at Harbour Grace provincial court. His legs were visibly shaking as he sat and listened to Brazil. His sentence also took into account three prior incidents, including one last September when he stole a truck and hit a parked vehicle on Veterans Memorial Highway.
The length of Brazil’s sentence falls in between the submissions made by the Crown prosecutor and Burton’s defence lawyer. Natalie Payne was seeking a sevenyear sentence based on the victim’s vulnerability and the fact that although Burton apologized and said he wouldn’t hurt the victim after failing to convince her to leave with him, he remained in her bedroom for 10 minutes. She initially woke up to find Burton at the foot of her bed holding a knife.
Defence lawyer Kevin Baker asked for a five-year sentence, feeling the facts of the case justified that sentence. He noted that there was no physical violence in this case and Burton did apologize multiple times to the victim.
Brazil ultimately did not believe Burton’s apologies inside the victim’s bedroom could be considered a mitigating factor. She also made reference to the victim’s short but impactful victim impact statement, which she re-read in court Friday.
Brazil called Burton’s case one of the worst she’s come across as a judge for sentencing. She said his actions damaged the elderly woman’s sense of security.
However, the judge believes Burton is a good candidate for rehabilitation. His addictions and mental health issues were acknowledged in the court, and Brazil hopes he can overcomes those problems so long as he puts in the necessary work while serving his sentence. If not, she expects the young man will be doomed to a life of crime.
Burton will receive 190 days credit for time already served. He has remained in custody since May 10 when he was originally arrested along with the co-accused, Evan James Fry. Burton received time-and-a-half credit for 132 days in custody.
Police found Burton and Fry at Fry’s apartment, with a stolen vehicle having been tracked to a nearby parking lot. Burton was immediately arrested, having violated a court order requiring him to remain at his family’s home overnight. Fry was arrested a short while later.
Fry has entered not guilty pleas on all charges. His case will be heard in Harbour Grace provincial court Nov. 16-17.
Burton will be subject to a lifetime firearms prohibition. He is also prohibited from having contact with any of his victims or with Fry.
An RCMP officer escorts 23-year-old Joshua Burton at the Harbour Grace courthouse. Last Friday, he was sentenced to six years and fourth months in prison.