Demand for 7-8 year sentence for man who robbed senior citizens during violent home invasion IG News

IG news Update,

An elderly couple were enjoying a quiet night at home on Maunder Lane in St John’s when Justin Haynes and Jonathan Hurley stormed in.

The 90-year-old man and 88-year-old woman were pushed to the floor, assaulted and robbed of their purses, jewelry and $600 in cash, according to an agreed statement of facts read in court Friday.

They both suffered from defensive wounds and deep bruises on their arms. The man had a cut on his head. On the way to the hospital, the woman complained of back pain and said she was kicked in the lower back during the robbery.

Haynes, 32, apologized for his actions during his sentencing on Friday. He pleaded guilty to multiple offenses related to a pair of domestic assaults, including assault and aggravated assault. This was the first time he had been convicted of a crime.

Haynes read a letter to the judge, saying, “Putting myself in the place of the victim, I am in a state of extreme remorse.” “I can only imagine how scared the victims were, and the mental, physical and emotional pain they must have felt and are still feeling today.”

Split screen image of two men sitting in the prisoner's dock at the provincial court.
Haynes, 31, and Jonathan Hurley, 32, were arrested in connection with two domestic assaults in St. Johns. (Terry Roberts / CBC)

The court heard that Haynes and Hurley met each other at the Christian pub on George Street in late summer 2022. The two chatted while playing slot machines next to each other.

Two weeks later, on September 11, police were called to the home of Haynes’ girlfriend and infant son. It was the second time since June that they had been there for a domestic dispute, and Haynes was ordered to stay away from home.

The next night, he met Hurley at his home in Buckmaster Circle. The court heard that Hurley told Haynes they were going to rob a pharmacy. But first he needed a car.

Haynes told police that he saw a woman in the window of a house on Beaumont Street and decided to knock on the door. They asked to use the phone, and they barged in when her boyfriend came to the door. The court heard Hurley attacked the boyfriend, pushing him into a wall and stabbing him twice in the back after he fell to the floor.

The boyfriend reported that one of the men said, “Do you want to die? You are going to die” as he attacked him.

The two men bundled up in the home owner’s palanquin, and drove across town, hoping to avoid police officers.

They ended up at Maunder Lane in the east end of St John’s, and moved on to their next crime.

Four pictures of cuts and bruises on the arms of elderly people.
Photos from an evidence book show injuries to the arms of an elderly couple who were victims of a home invasion on 12 September. (Terry Roberts / CBC)

The court heard they had never been to the house before, but chose it because it looked like an easy target. Haynes admitted that he stole the elderly woman’s brooch and purse and tried to take her watch. Photos from the hospital show a large, bloody wound around her wrist with a piece of jewelry still in place.

After the home invasion ended, the court heard they stopped at a drug house on their way back to Hurley’s house and bought crack cocaine. The elderly couple’s banking records – paired with security camera footage – show someone used one of their cards to buy three cans of pop and five packs of cigarettes.

The person later used this to load money into his Atlantic Lottery account using an app on his phone. Lotto Corporation later confirmed to police that the card was in the couple’s name, while the account belonged to Hurley.

Two women standing at table in courtroom.  The woman in the background is looking at another with a slight smile, while the woman in the foreground is looking for something on the table.
Susan Day, left, and Jennifer Standen agreed on the facts of the case, but recommended different sentences at Haynes’ hearing on Friday. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

Haynes was a ‘full partner’, argues the Crown

Police immediately released an internal memo with photos of the suspects captured on surveillance cameras. The court heard that four officers immediately recognized Haynes from earlier domestic calls.

He was arrested on September 13 and immediately charged with home invasion and car theft. He also named Hurley as his partner. Haynes pleaded guilty at the first opportunity, something the judge will look at favorably before sentencing next Friday.

Crown prosecutor Jennifer Standen asked Judge David Orr to sentence Haynes to seven or eight years behind bars for a mix of aggravated assault, common assault and breaking and entering. His lawyer Susan Dey asked for four to five years.

Standen has also asked for 40 days on last night’s domestic dispute breach of conditions.

“I don’t want it to get lost in other events,” Standen said in his submission to the court. “I want her to recognize that we have seen her and that she is not lost in other matters.”

While Haynes’ attorney insisted that his client was not the driving force behind the violent crimes, Standen said that he should not be absolved of any responsibility. Standen argued that Haynes knew what he was doing after stabbing a man in the house earlier.

“To say he was anything other than a full participant is disingenuous,” she said.

mental health, addiction at the root

Day filed a pre-sentence report into the record that set out Haynes’ struggles with mental health and addictions.

He first used drugs at the age of 21 and was admitted to Waterford Hospital the same year with a drug-induced psychosis. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had manic episodes off and on for the past 10 years.

Haynes broke down in tears as he told the judge about his 11-month-old son and his desire to be a better father to him.

He said, “I hope to remain mentally sound and sober for the rest of my time on Earth.” “My son … does not deserve to suffer because of my actions. And my goal from this day forward is to be a good father and a positive influence in his life.”

Judge Orr reserved his decision for next Friday.

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