Sentence in Charlottetown armed robbery adjourned

The sentencing for Taylor McGuigan, who robbed a Charlottetown convenience store has been adjourned to October.

Taylor McGuigan pleaded guilty to robbery that happened in January 2017

This convenience store on Queen Street in Charlottetown was robbed in January 2017. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

The sentencing for Taylor McGuigan, who robbed a Charlottetown convenience store has been adjourned to October. 

McGuigan, 20, was in court Monday morning. She has pleaded guilty to stealing while armed with an offensive weapon. 

I'm sorry ... I accept full responsibility.— Taylor McGuigan

McGuigan was armed with a box cutter when she robbed the convenience store on Queen Street on Jan. 20, 2017 around 9:45 p.m. McGuigan's lawyer, Thane MacEachern, told court she stood outside the store for 45 minutes before robbing the store. He said she was given $700 by the clerk and only took $500 of it during the robbery.  

MacEachern said his client has struggled with addiction issues. He said the offence happened while McGuigan was waiting to get into a treatment facility. 

McGuigan in recovery

MacEachern said McGuigan has been getting rehabilitation for the past five months at the Strength Program, the provincial Youth Recovery Centre in Summerside. 

McGuigan is to spend the next four months at Lacey House, a supervised and therapeutic residence that assists women in maintaining a chemical-free lifestyle.

In court Monday, McGuigan choked up as she said she would turn back the clock if she could and would do whatever she could to make sure nothing like the robbery would happen again. 

"I'm sorry to everyone impacted by my actions," she said. "I accept full responsibility."

Check-in Aug. 1

Judge John Douglas adjourned sentencing McGuigan to October, but asked for another court date Aug. 1 to get an update on McGuigan's rehabilitation at Lacey House. Douglas also requested another pre-sentence report from probation services by that date. 

McGuigan's lawyer suggested a 90 day sentence with a lengthy probation and perhaps electronic monitoring. However, Douglas said that would not be consistent with other sentences for similar cases and would not be an appropriate deterrent for the public. 

Douglas told court when he sentences McGuigan in October he will take into account the nine months she has spent in rehabilitation. He said he expects McGuigan to be involved in constructive activities such as a support group or community service over the next couple of months. 

The judge also said the clerk at the store that was robbed did not experience extensive trauma that can be common among victims. Court heard the clerk recognized McGuigan and was going to tell her to take off her mask before she showed a box cutter. 

RCMP oversight of investigation

A previous charge against McGuigan of disguise with intent to commit an indictable offence was stayed by the Crown in April. 

On Jan, 27, 2017 RCMP received a request from the Office of the Police Commissioner to provide oversight of the criminal investigation into the robbery conducted by the Charlottetown Police Services. Taylor McGuigan is the daughter of Deputy Chief Gary McGuigan of Charlottetown Police Services.

After the review, RCMP investigators found there was nothing to support a finding of outside influence, preferential treatment or favouritism towards McGuigan.