By Craig Babstock
MONCTON — A Charlottetown man was sentenced to two years in prison on Tuesday, after admitting his role in a 10-year-old home invasion.
Michael Arthur Gaudet, 29, appeared before Moncton provincial court Judge Troy Sweet and pleaded guilty to breaking and entering and committing the indictable offence of robbery, and also masking his face during the commission of an offence. The judge accepted a joint recommendation for a two-year penitentiary term.
With the guilty pleas to those two charges, Crown prosecutor Anthony Allman withdrew four other counts including robbery, assault, unlawful confinement and uttering threats.
While the offences occurred on May 28, 2004, Gaudet wasn’t charged until November 2013. He’s been in custody since his arrest.
Allman told the court the incident occurred at 11 a.m. on the day in question. Two men broke into a home on Wheaton Road in Petitcodiac, one armed with a shotgun, one with a handgun.
They had nylon stockings over their heads obscuring their faces, and one wore yellow rubber gloves. One held a gun to a woman’s head and struck her with it, then she was tied up with duct tape.
The robbers were looking for money and drugs and one of them ransacked the house while the other kept an eye on the victim. They fled shortly after with $240 from her purse. She was untied when someone she knew came to the house.
Police had a dog follow a track, but it was eventually lost. They did find the gloves and nylons and were able to get DNA samples to log in the national database.
Years later, Gaudet came up as a match to one of the samples from the nylons. Police got a warrant to obtain a sample from him and matched it to the seized evidence.
When Gaudet was interviewed by police, he told them he was going to take part in the break-in but thought the home was supposed to be unoccupied. When he realized someone was home, he stayed outside while the other two criminals went inside.
He waited there until they came running out and he fled with them, eventually discarding his nylons.
Whether the Crown believes Gaudet’s version or not, it can’t prove what role he played in the home invasion.
“The Crown is not in a position to prove otherwise, so we accept that version of events,” said Allman.
Defence lawyer Lisanne Maurice said Gaudet simply had a change of heart.
“He waited in the car, he changed his mind,” she said.
No one else has been arrested in connection with the crime.
Craig Babstock is a reporter for the Times & Transcript of Moncton, N.B.