June 19th, 2024

Attempted robbery, assault nets six month sentence

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on April 2, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 19-year-old southern Alberta man who threw a needle filled with methamphetamine at a nurse, then a day later attempted to rob a Lethbridge convenience store, has been sentenced to six months in jail.
Hunter Alexander Frank was sentenced Friday in Lethbridge provincial court on charges of assault with a weapon, attempted robbery and failing to comply with release conditions. Although defence recommended during a previous hearing in March a sentence of five to six months, the Crown sought a sentence of 12 to 18 months for the attempted robbery and an another two to three months for the assault. However, Judge Jerry LeGrandeur ruled Frank’s personal circumstances warrant a lesser sentence.
LeGrandeur sentenced Frank to 15 days in custody for the assault, and seven days for breaching a curfew, but allowed them to run concurrently with the six-month sentence. LeGrandeur also granted Frank six months credit for the amount of time he has already spent in remand custody, effectively concluding his sentence.
The attempted robbery and assault charges stem from two separate incidents, the first of which occurred at about 1 p.m. on Dec. 1 of last year when Frank was at the Lethbridge overdose prevention facility, which was operating from a bus parked at the emergency shelter on the northside. Frank removed his face mask, then became angry when a staff member was asked him to put it back on. He refused and put on a bandana, instead. When the attending nurse asked him to leave the bus he swore at her, grabbed an uncapped, loaded needle and threw it, narrowly missing the nurse.
At about 11 p.m. the following day Frank, while wearing a bandana over his face, entered a northside convenience store and asked for cigarettes. As the 64-year-old female clerk complied, Frank pulled out a knife and walked around the counter toward the clerk.
The clerk screamed for help and pressed a panic button, which set off an alarm. Frank fled but was later identified and arrested at the homeless shelter.
LeGrandeur noted the incident had an emotional and psychological impact on the clerk who wrote in a victim impact statement several days later that she suffered from anxiety and depression and was under a doctor’s care.
“She describes it as the worst day of her life, and this terrifying incident has changed her life,” LeGrandeur said.
LeGrandeur acknowledged the serious nature of the offence, but balanced it with Frank’s moral culpability, which he said is low given the offender’s personal circumstances.
Frank, who has been living on the streets for several years, was only 13 years old when he was involved in an accident in which he sustained brain damage, LeGrandeur noted. He has a low IQ and may also have fetal alcohol spectrum disorder based on his mother’s addiction to alcohol. Frank also began drinking alcohol when he was only seven years old, and was using cocaine and crack cocaine by the time he was 12. When he was 16 he was using methamphetamine and fentanyl. His home life while growing up was also tumultuous and abusive, and he was raised primarily by his older siblings, which often resulted in neglect.
In addition to his jail sentence, Frank will be on probation for 18 months, during which he must take counselling and treatment for substance abuse, and psychological counselling as directed. He is prohibited from going to the convenience store, and from possessing certain weapons for 10 years and others for life. He must also submit a sample of his DNA for the National DNA Databank.

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Only 6 months for what he did to this unfortunate, sweet lady… rough upbringing but does he have any chance at ever contributing to society?