Nfld. & Labrador

Knifepoint robbery merits 3-year sentence, says Crown

A woman who used a knife to rob another woman at a St. John's bank machine should be sentenced to three years in prison, says a Crown prosecutor.

19-year-old woman convicted of robbing a woman at a Churchill Square bank machine

Camille Strickland-Murphy in provincial court in St. John's on May 24. (CBC)

A woman who used a knife to rob another woman at a St. John's bank machine should be sentenced to three years in prison, a Crown prosecutor says.

Camille Strickland-Murphy pleaded guilty to disguising herself in her brother's clothes and robbing a woman at a bank machine on April 3.

She held a knife near the woman's throat and threatened to kill her unless she handed over money. The robbery took place at an automated banking machine in Churchill Square.

This morning, lawyers finished their submissions regarding sentencing.

Crown lawyer Bill Cadigan said Strickland-Murphy's crime was serious and deserves a powerful denunciation.

"The sentence should send a message that this will be dealt with seriously by the court," he said.

He said her crime was premeditated and will have a lasting impact.

"The victim may never get over this," said Cadigan.

An agreed statement of facts presented to the court earlier said Strickland-Murphy on another occasion forged a prescription and also stole a car.

Cadigan argued that should also be considered in sentencing Strickland-Murphy.

If Strickland-Murphy were given a three-year sentence, she would serve it at a facility outside of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Defence lawyer Peter Ralph said Strickland Murphy should be given a sentence of two-years jail time, less a day – a sentence that she would  serve in Clarenville.

Lawyer Peter Ralph outside provincial court in St. John's on May 24. (CBC)
Ralph said any longer would be unduly harsh.

He argued Strickland-Murphy is more likely to be rehabilitated sucessfully if she has access to services and her family in this province.

"What we are asking is a serious penalty and the punishment we are suggesting is fairly severe," said Ralph.

Judge Pamela Goulding said she has a lot of material to consider in the complicated case.

"Camille Strickland-Murphy has tremendous family support, we often don't see that in court, what weight should I give to that?" Goulding asked Carigan.

Cadigan agreed Strickland-Murphy "comes from a family that is so supportive that they turned her in," but he argued sentencing should focus on what is best for the greater community and society, not what is best for Strickland-Murphy and her family.

At an earlier court hearing, Psychiatrist Nizar Ladha testified that Strickland-Murphy suffers from a number of mental illnesses and has since she was a child, including social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Goulding is scheduled to sentence the 19-year-old in on June 8.