A judge will decide next month how long a 21-year-old who held up two banks with a knife will spend in a federal prison.
Scott Kenneth Cleary
If it was up to the Crown, Scott Kenneth Cleary would be sent to jail for three to four years. The defence is recommending two to three years.
Whatever term Judge Jim Walsh decides on Feb. 19, it will mark the first time Cleary will see jail time.
The only thing Cleary has on his criminal record is a theft, which he received probation as a sentence.
"So, this will be quite a step up from what he received before," Crown prosecutor Elaine Reid said during the sentencing hearing today at provincial court.
Cleary pleaded guilty to seven charges, including two counts of armed robbery, as well as having his face masked, and possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose and theft.
In April 29 of last year, Cleary walked into Bank of Montreal on Elizabeth Avenue at around noon with a knife and demanded cash from the female teller. He made off with between $3,000 and $4,000.
A month later, on May 24, Cleary went into Royal Bank of Canada in Torbay with the same knife and demanded cash from the female teller.
The bank was unable to say exactly how much money he took, but estimates it to be between $500 and $3,000.
The theft was laid after the manager of Circle K Irving on Frecker Drive was doing inventory and noticed money was missing. He reviewed the security video and saw that Cleary, who was employed there as a clerk at the time, was not charging certain customers for groceries and scratch tickets. In all, he gave away $2,218 worth of items.
Reid said a lengthy prison sentence is warranted.
"It's severe, but so are two robberies."
She said the theft was a serious breach of trust
Defence lawyer Scott Hurley said Cleary grew up in an average family, but got into drugs at a young age.
He said the money he stole was to pay back money he owed for drugs.
"The walls were closing in on him," Hurley said.
Hurley said Cleary is still a young man with hope of turning his life around.
When Cleary spoke, he apologized to the victims and said his drug use affected his life more than he wanted.
"I've been clean for eight months and have cut out all negative influences in my life," said Cleary. "But I'm still far from the person I want to be."
Cleary said he plans to enrol in programming that will help him improve his life.