A Carbonear man has been sentenced for committing an Aug. 20, 2012 armed robbery in South River.
© Photo by Terry Roberts/The Compass
Michael Brian Bowman of Carbonear is seen outside provincial court in Harbour Grace in this Compass file photo. He was sentenced to five years in prison on Oct. 31.
Michael Brian Bowman, 27, appeared in provincial court in Harbour Grace via video call from the West Coast Correctional Institution in Stephenville on Thursday (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 particularly 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or attempted commission of indictable offence and carelessly using firearms or ammunition - were conditionally withdrawn.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 of those days for a total of 657.
As Brazil finished reading her decision, the family 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.
The reason behind the brazen daylight robbert 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 incarceration at Her Majesty's Penitentiary in St. John's.
The program was nine hours a week for seven weeks.
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.