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Robbery nets seven-year sentence

Judge says society must protect seniors in their homes
by Lisa Brown

 COUNTY - Robbing an 80-year-old senior as he sat in his own kitchen has netted a county man a seven-year prison term.

 Jonathan Joseph Arenburg was scheduled to go to trial on charges of robbery and being unlawfully in a dwelling house July 11 in Bridgewater provincial court, but instead entered a guilty plea to the first charge.

 Taking into consideration the 14 months the 29 year old spent in jail since his arrest, Judge Jim Burrill followed a joint recommendation from Crown and defence lawyers sentencing him to serve a further five years and eight months in custody.

 "If we as a society can't keep our elderly safe in their homes, certainly our attempts at providing a safe and secure community have failed," Judge Burrill said.

 "When individuals breach that security, while courts are powerless to prevent it, courts have a duty to act by imposing significant and denunciatory sentences," he added.

 Crown attorney Alonzo Wright told the court the 80 year old was sitting in his kitchen in his West Dublin home on September 29, 2009, when two people walked in and demanded money.

 One of the intruders punched the senior in the face and he fell to the floor. They then grabbed his wallet, took his cash and left.

 Investigators later found a beer bottle at the scene believed to have been left by one of the robbers. They also removed a piece of paper taped over a peep hole on the door.

 DNA found on both came back to Mr. Arenburg.

 Mr. Wright said analysis concluded there was only a one in 14 trillion chance that the DNA was not Mr. Arenburg's.

 However, the Crown attorney said the victim was not particularly interested in testifying. He did not wish to submit a victim impact statement for the court's consideration.

 "He wishes to put this matter behind him," Mr. Wright told the court.

 Mr. Arenburg has two prior convictions for robberies in 2005, one of them involving this same victim. In 2006, he was sentenced to a three-year prison term for those crimes.

 He was off parole for only a few months before this latest home invasion.

 Defence lawyer Geoff Newton says that means his client's chances of early parole are unlikely. He'll probably serve two-thirds of his sentence up to his mandatory release date.



posted on 07/19/11
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