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North Sydney man sentenced to 29 months


SYDNEY — A first time offender who pleaded guilty to robbery and two counts of attempted robbery was sentenced Friday to serve a 29-month federal prison sentence.

The sentence imposed on Kevin Joseph MacMullin, 23, of North Sydney, also included three counts of having his face masked in committing an offence.

The charges stem from three offences committed on April 6 in North Sydney, Bras d'Or and Sydney Mines involving two convenience stores and a gas station.

Defence lawyer Shannon Mason told the court the crimes stemmed from a week-long cocaine-fuelled binge by MacMullin who was seeking some quick cash to buy more drugs.

Prosecutor Shane Russell said the first call to police regarding an attempted robbery came from a North Sydney convenience store at about 7:15 a.m. reporting that a man wearing a bandana over his face attempted to enter the store.

Overnight safety measures at the store allow the inside clerk to first see the customer before opening the door. The duty clerk requested the man remove his bandana before entering and when he refused, the police were called. MacMullin left the area.

Shortly before 7:30 a.m., police were called to a gas station in Bras d'Or where the duty clerk offered a similar scenario as the convenience store. MacMullin was denied access to the location and fled the scene.

Shortly before 8 a.m., police were called to a Sydney Mines convenience store where MacMullin had gained entry and fled with cash from the register and nearly $500 from a cash can.

Russell said MacMullian then went to a nearby residence and asked those inside to call him a taxi.

Instead, those inside called police and MacMullin was arrested on the spot.

In retracing his steps from the convenience store to the residence, police found a knife, the cash can and some bills.

The robberies are a far cry from the days when MacMullin would be earning six figures working in the oil patch in Alberta but Mason explained he lost everything because of his drug addiction and his failure to deal with underlying mental health issues, primarily anxiety and depression.

Russell recommended a jail sentence of four years less the seven months spent on remand.

Mason said in addition to losing his financial footing, MacMullin is also estranged from his family with the exception of his grandparents who did attend his sentencing hearing. She recommended a sentence of between two and three years.

"He is a young man with a lot of problems," she said, adding he has accepted responsibility and apologizes for his actions.

In passing sentence, provincial court Judge Peter Ross termed MacMullin's actions as impulsive and desperate and lacking premeditation.

In addition to the jail sentence, MacMullin is banned from possessing firearms for the remainder of his life and must submit a DNA sample to the national registry.

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