A Nanaimo woman who pleaded guilty to a pair of armed robberies in 2016 will serve five and a half months in jail.
Caroline Green, 50, was arrested, charged with, and subsequently pleaded guilty to two Sept. 17, 2016 incidents in which she robbed Fairview Corner Store on Second Street and Super Save Gas on Wakesiah Avenue armed with a 10-inch kitchen knife.
Green will serve a 161-day sentence for the first count and a 165-day sentence concurrently for the second, according to a ruling by Judge J. Douglas Cowling at provincial court in Nanaimo on Tuesday, April 10.
In the gas station robbery, the owner’s son suffered a cut to his index finger and required 10 stitches after a struggle, according to Cowling. It is thought Green suffered a cut after a struggle with the corner store owner when he struck her hand with a baseball bat – she received three stitches. Police suspect she was under the influence of drugs at the time of arrest.
Green had been a gainfully employed, law-abiding citizen with no prior convictions, however her father died of lung disease in 2012 and her partner died of cancer in 2014. She had abused alcohol and was fired from her job as a veterinary surgical assistant in July 2015. She is also on medication for anxiety and depression.
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Green moved into a supportive low-income housing facility in April 2016, where she was exposed to crack cocaine in July 2016 and became “instantly addicted,” according to Cowling. She burned through her savings in two months to support her habit. It was suggested, said Cowling, it came to a point where she owed about $160 to a dealer, referred to only as “Sparky,” who was said to have coerced her into committing the robberies and threatened her and her family.
Green will also be subject to a number of conditions. She will be on probation for three years and will have to adhere to a 7 p.m.-7 a.m. curfew for the first year.
Green will be prohibited from any contact with the owners of the gas station and convenience store and will have to pay restitution of $500 each to the owners of the convenience store and gas station, as well as the gas station owner’s son.
She won’t be able to consume or possess alcohol or drugs unless medical prescription. She won’t be able to possess a knife, unless it is used for food preparation.
Green is a landed immigrant, who moved to Canada from England when she was nine. Had the sentence been longer than six months, she would have lost the right to appeal a deportation order, said Chris Churchill, Green’s legal counsel.