Nova Scotia

Downey sentenced to 6 years for bowling alley robbery

A man has been sentenced to six years in a federal penitentiary for his role in abducting two women and robbing a Halifax-area bowling alley three years ago.

Victim says sentencing "a big relief"

Coulton Downey was sentenced on two counts of kidnapping and one count of robbery in relation to an incident at Beazley Bowling Lanes in Westphal, N.S. (CBC)

A man has been sentenced to six years in a federal penitentiary for his role in abducting two women and robbing a Halifax-area bowling alley three years ago.

Justice Joseph Kennedy convicted Coulton Durrell Downey, of North Preston, on one count of robbery and two counts of kidnapping.

A young bowling alley worker, Angela Cahoun, and her friend, Chelsea Owen, were abducted and forced to help rob the Westphal business.

The women's ordeal began early on May 13, 2009 after the employee locked up for the night.

The RCMP said a car full of masked, armed men followed the women to a home on Highway 207, then forced them to return to Beazley Bowling Lanes to turn off the alarm and open the safe.

The bowling alley owner said both women had bags over the heads and guns pointed at them, and were hooded for about an hour.

The women were eventually dropped off in an isolated area of Montague Mines and made their way to the RCMP station in Cole Harbour.

Three months later, police arrested four men — all cousins with the same surname — and a 17-year-old boy.

Downey's case was adjourned earlier this month because his lawyer, Lyle Howe, complained he only received the six page pre-sentence report 30 minutes before court, and he needed time to review it with his client.

On Monday the judge sentenced Downey to six years in prison, even though the crown was seeking a sentence of five years.

"I'm so happy with the sentencing, it's a big relief," said Owens.

"I think the court is letting Mr. Downey and like-minded people know, if you're going to engage in serious crimes you can expect serious time," said Crown attorney Perry Borden, "I think it's great for Nova Scotia."

In her victim statement, Owen said "having a gun placed to my temple is the most terrifying thing in the entire world, I believed that night that I was going to die."

Cahoun read hers in court. "You stole from me things that are priceless. There was a total disregard for my rights as a human being. What you have done is completely unforgivable," she said.

Another kidnapper and cousin of the convicted, Rodan Romeo Downey, will be sentenced on September 7.

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