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FOR TURNING HIS BACK ON DRUGS AND CRIME, BANK ROBBER GETS REDUCED SENTENCE

FOR TURNING HIS BACK ON DRUGS AND CRIME, BANK ROBBER GETS REDUCED SENTENCE

BY ANDREW SEYMOUR, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN JULY 31, 2012

OTTAWA — A robber who learned how to hold up banks from his abusive father was given a break Tuesday, because the judge feared a lengthy prison sentence would derail the tremendous progress he’s made overcoming a life that once centred around crack and crime.

Myles Fawcett’s father Jeffrey got his son hooked on crack cocaine and prescription narcotics and then introduced him to robbing banks by bringing him along on a holdup. Jeffrey Fawcett had asked that his 24-year-old son be sentenced to the same prison where he is serving an eight-year sentence so he could protect him from life on the inside.

But Ontario Superior Court Justice Bonnie Warkentin instead sentenced Myles Fawcett to a further year in a provincial jail Tuesday, partially to keep him away from negative influences that might lead him back to a life of crime, but also so he could spend another three years on probation to continue treatment for his drug addiction.

For turning his back on drugs and crime, bank robber gets reduced sentence Page 2 of 2
A sentence of more than two years would have meant Fawcett would have entered the federal prison system.

Fawcett robbed three banks over an 11-day period in January 2010, entering each bank and handing the teller a note demanding cash. No weapon was seen and no threats were made.

Fawcett was linked to the robberies after police recovered a jacket and hat with his DNA on it.

At the time of his arrest in April 2010, Fawcett was serving a conditional sentence for a pharmacy robbery.

Following his arrest, Fawcett was released on bail to Harvest House, a Christian-based treatment program.

Once there, Fawcett stayed clean and sober, volunteered 96 hours to speak to high school students and help seniors and finished all but one of his school exams. He later expressed remorse for what he had done, apologizing to his victims, the court and the jurors who convicted him.

“It is apparent that Myles Fawcett today is a changed person,” said Warkentin. “For those such as Myles Fawcett, who desire to change, we must be able to offer some hope to them that does not involve a term of imprisonment of such length that it will destroy their ability to follow through with that change.”

The Crown had sought up to three years in prison for Fawcett. His lawyer, Paolo Giancaterino, asked for a sentence of less than two years on top of time he already served.

Warkentin gave Fawcett nearly two years credit for time he already spent in jail and at Harvest House.

Following his sentencing, Warkentin invited Fawcett to send her updates on how he was doing following his release from jail.

aseymour@ottawacitizen.com
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