PEI

BB gun lands woman in jail for 30 days

Julie Lynn Gaudet, 40, was sentenced to 30 days in jail in provincial court Friday for possessing a dangerous weapon after a BB gun she said she was carrying out of fear for her own safety fell out of her jacket.

Julie Gaudet tells court she carried fake gun out of fear for her own safety

'That gun looked realistic,' said provincial court Judge Nancy Orr. Charlottetown police seized this BB gun Sept. 21 at Charlottetown Mall. (Charlottetown Police)

A P.E.I. woman who took a BB gun into the Charlottetown Mall has been sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Julie Lynn Gaudet, 40, of Charlottetown had pleaded guilty at an earlier court appearance to possession of a handgun for a purpose dangerous to the public peace.

At sentencing Friday in Charlottetown, court heard Gaudet carried the weapon because she feared for her safety.

Anybody who thinks they're entitled to carry a gun is mistaken.— Judge Nancy Orr

She was arrested Sept. 21 after it fell out of her jacket as she was using a bank machine in the mall. Court heard it startled another customer at the ATM, who feared a crime was about to be committed. 

Photos of the realistic-looking handgun were entered into the court record.

Julie Lynn Gaudet has a lengthy criminal record, including a conviction in 2014 for stabbing her then-boyfriend. (CBC)

"I want to apologize for the fear that I caused," Gaudet told court Friday. "The person I fear has put me in hospital twice."

Gaudet's defence lawyer Alex Dalton told court Gaudet had been the victim of physical violence in the past by both a family member and by a former partner, and that she lost an eye following a serious assault a few years ago by a man she knows.

"This is a very unique case as to why she had the weapon," said Dalton. "It's not an excuse, but there's a context as to why she had it."

'Gun looked realistic'

Crown prosecutor Chad McQuaid told court Gaudet is dealing with mental health and addictions problems.

"Her whole focus is managing her addictions issues," said McQuaid. "What she did that day is certainly unacceptable."

Judge Nancy Orr turned down Gaudet's request to serve the 30-day jail sentence on weekends.

"Anybody who thinks they're entitled to carry a gun is mistaken," said Orr. "That gun looked realistic."

Court heard Gaudet has a lengthy criminal record. She was also sentenced to 30 days in jail for breach of probation, to be served concurrently, and to serve one year on probation.

Gaudet is also prohibited from possessing weapons for 10 years.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Higgins

Videojournalist

Brian Higgins joined CBC Prince Edward Island in 2002, following work in broadcasting, newspaper and magazine writing in central Canada. He follows law courts and justice issues on P.E.I., among other assignments.

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