Crown seeks length­ier sen­tence for Evan Fry than co-ac­cused

Wants eight years for 2015 home in­va­sion in Bay Roberts; de­fence re­quests 30-month sen­tence

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON TC ME­DIA ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

The Crown prose­cu­tor be­lieves the ac­tions of Evan Fry war­rant a longer prison term than his part­ner in crime.

Fry, 22, was found guilty in Septem­ber for break and en­ter and rob­bery in re­la­tion to a 2015 home in­va­sion in Bay Roberts. This ver­dict fol­lowed a lengthy 13-day trial that in­cluded tes­ti­mony from the el­derly vic­tim, who was 85 when she found a man in­side her room hold­ing a knife.

That man, Joshua Bur­ton, pleaded guilty in 2015 and was sen­tenced to six years and four months in prison. Fry was not in the vic­tim’s room at the time.

Last Mon­day, lawyers pre­sented their ar­gu­ments for sen­tenc­ing. Their op­tions were well apart from one another.

In the Bur­ton case, Crown prose­cu­tor Natalie Payne sought seven years. For Fry, she went a lit­tle bit higher, ask­ing Judge Jac­que­line Brazil to con­sider an eight-year sen­tence. She cited Fry’s crim­i­nal record, which in­cludes con­vic­tions for break and en­ter stem­ming from events in De­cem­ber of 2014 (he has since served a sen­tence ex­ceed­ing a year for those con­vic­tions). Payne said the ar­rest in May of last year amounted to an es­ca­la­tion in Fry’s crim­i­nal be­hav­iour.

She also con­sid­ered Bur­ton’s guilty plea to be a mit­i­gat­ing fac­tor in his re­duced sen­tence. Mean­while, Fry’s trial fea­tured 10 wit­nesses and used up con­sid­er­able court re­sources.

Fry’s lawyer, Su­san Day, ar­gued a 30-month sen­tence would be more suit­able. She said her client’s moral cul­pa­bil­ity was re­duced due to his lack of pres­ence in the room with Hill­yard. She also noted there was no ev­i­dence of pre­plan­ning and that Fry had no crim­i­nal record at the time of the rob­bery (the con­vic­tions came later that year).

Ac­cord­ing to his lawyer, Fry has a Grade 9 ed­u­ca­tion. He’s been ad­dicted to opi­ates since the age of 18 and has com­pleted ad­dic­tions aware­ness cour­ses at Her Majesty’s Pen­i­ten­tiary in St. John’s. He is cur­rently at the West Coast Cor­rec­tional Cen­tre in Stephenville.

Asked if he had any­thing to tell the court, Fry said he was will­ing to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for his ac­tions. He also of­fered an apol­ogy for any­thing that hap­pened to the vic­tim as a re­sult of the in­ci­dent.

Brazil will an­nounce her de­ci­sion Jan. 20, 2017.

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/TC ME­DIA

Evan Fry ap­peared on a video screen from the West Coast Cor­rec­tional Cen­tre in Stephenville.

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