The Thunder Bay woman who was held at knife point in her home while intruders killed a man says she’s happy with a sentence given to the person charged with the murder.

In Superior Court Monday, Justice Doug Shaw sentenced 20-year-old Nicholas Webber to 10 years in prison for the manslaughter of 54 year old Robert Topping. Webber pleaded to the lesser charge of manslaughter last September.


Fifty-four-year-old Robert Topping was killed in a March 2011 break-and-enter in a Minnesota Street home in Thunder Bay. (

"I'm happy with the sentencing and what he got," said Paulette Cloutier, who was held at knife point in the Minnesota Street home where Topping was killed.

"But I'm also very sad that Mr. Topping will not be with us, and will not have the chance to come back in 10 years — and Nicholas Webber will be."

Webber also received a seven year sentence for Break and Enter, which will be served concurrently, less the nearly two years he has already served in custody.

In March 2011, Webber and three other men entered the Minnesota Street residence. What started as a break-and-enter ended in the stabbing death of Topping.

Shaw noted that, in the last two years, Webber had expressed remorse and had embraced Christianity. He also noted that Webber was quite young. However, he called Webber's actions unacceptable and reprehensible and noted Webber’s long history of criminal activity, which dated back to 2007.

Shaw said that, in cases of this nature, public safety must be given priority.

Cloutier said the incident has left her with panic attacks and she still fears for her life.