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Robber's rues (home invasion).

The Alberta Court of Appeal has given sentencing guidelines for those convicted of home robberies. The Court based its decision on the premise that home invasion robberies are more reprehensible than other robberies and therefore deserve serious denunciation. The judgment said Home invasion robberies are to be treated with the utmost seriousness as they strike at the security of the home where occupants are often alone and at their most vulnerable. Such offenses breach very essential and fundamental rights of all members of Canadian society to the security and inviolability of their own residences. The starting point for a sentence for a home invasion robbery should be eight years, for a mature individual with no prior record who plans the robbery and targets a dwelling with the intent to steal; arms himself with an offensive weapon; forcibly enters the dwelling; confines the occupants, even if just for a short time; while armed with the offensive weapon, threatens the occupants with death or bodily harm; and steals or attempts to steal money or valuable property. Aggravating circumstances that could increase the sentence include use of actual force; causing harm to the occupants; prolonged detention; terrorization; firing firearms; gang activity; or prior convictions for violent offenses or theft. Mitigating circumstances that might result in a lesser sentence would include youthfulness of the offender; lack of planning or an early guilty plea.

The judges cited a concern over the rising number of home invasion robberies, the need for deterrence and the importance of showing society's denunciation of this type of crime for establishing sentence guidelines. R.v. Matwiy; Alta Ct. of Appeal full citation not yet available.
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Author:Teresa Mitchell
Date:Jun 1, 1996
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