Sledgehammer home invasion deserves jail, appeal court says

Three people who used a sledgehammer, a boxcutter and their fists in a home invasion in Estevan deserve jail sentences, Saskatchewan's highest court has ruled.

Saskatchewan trio gets tougher sentences following appeal

Three people who used a sledgehammer, a boxcutter and their fists in a home invasion in Estevan deserve jail sentences, Saskatchewan's highest court has ruled.

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal recently released written reasons for its decision to boost the sentences of Joseph Carl Debigare, Peter McQuinn and Ayla Dawn Lynn Schachtel.

Originally, they received suspended sentences and probation — meaning no jail time is a possibility as long as they stay out of trouble.

However, the Crown appealed and the appeal court ruled the provincial court sentences were "demonstrably unfit." 

Schachtel got her sentence boosted to two years less a day, Debigare got 18 months and McQuinn got 10.

Trio laid plans in Weyburn

Court heard that in Nov. 27, 2011, the trio, all in their 20s, were sitting around drinking in Weyburn while Schachtel was disparaging her ex-boyfriend.

She said that someone should "kick the shit" out of him, and Debigare said he would do it.

McQuinn drove them to Estevan.

Dog seriously injured 

Debigare knocked on the door of victim's mobile home, then went in with a sledgehammer. McQuinn, masked, came in with a boxcutter knife.

A dog rushed out at the assailants and Debigare hit it with the hammer, resulting in severe injuries.

Debigare then used the hammer to smash his way into the bedroom of one of the occupants and his pregnant girlfriend.

Debigare punched the man while Schachtel attacked the pregnant woman, hitting her repeatedly with a pillow.

McQuinn seemed to change his mind about what they were doing and pulled Debigare out of the home.

The trio then fled in their vehicle. The police gave chase, their vehicle got stuck and they were arrested.

In its decision, published Tuesday on the Canlii online legal database, the appeal court noted that no one was seriously hurt and both McQuinn and Debigare were remorseful afterwards.

None of the three had criminal records.

However, the fact remains that breaking and entering where it's a home invasion is a serious crime and a suspended sentence would be "demonstrably unfit," the appeal court said.

Electronic bracelet cut off

The appeal court described Schachtel as the instigator in the case.

After she was sentenced the first time, she was put on an electronic bracelet for a short while, but cut it off and disappeared for a couple of months. She was re-arrested and put in jail.

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