Dieppe man sent to prison for violent home invasion

·3 min read

A 23-year-old man has been sentenced to more than five years in federal prison for a violent home invasion in 2019 and assaulting two correctional officers while in jail awaiting trial.

Luc Roger Nowlan of Dieppe pleaded guilty to charges of assault with a knife, break and enter and uttering death threats to a woman on May 13, 2019. He also pleaded guilty to assaulting two correctional officers in August and September 2019.

"This was a planned and deliberate home invasion," provincial court Judge Ronald LeBLanc said of Nowlan's May 2019 crimes as he sentenced Nowlan on Monday afternoon.

Crown prosecutor Maurice Blanchard outlined the facts of the case to the judge before Nowlan was sentenced.

Blanchard told the judge that Nowlan exchanged Facebook messages with a woman he knew from school, asking if she wanted to buy marijuana. She refused, and Blanchard said there was a "heated argument" online.

Tape, rope and knives used

A week later, Blanchard said, the woman heard someone coming to her door and recognized Nowlan. He kicked the door open, punched the woman and pulled out a knife and tape.

Blanchard said Nowlan was holding her down, trying to tie her up and stabbing the knife into walls and a counter.

Blanchard said the woman was terrified, but didn't want to scream because she was worried it would further upset Nowlan.

While swinging the knife around, he cut the woman in several places.

"This was somewhat of a drawn-out incident," Blanchard told the judge.

At one point, the prosecutor said Nowlan stabbed the knife into a wall and it got stuck. The woman saw a chance to escape and ran to a bedroom, closing the door behind her. She ran through a patio door out onto the street, flagging down a driver for help.

"She said she was very worried throughout this," the Crown said. "But what scared her most was that he said words to the effect of 'I'm not going to to stab you, I'm going to have to kill you.'"

Nowlan also admitted hitting a correctional officer while in jail on Aug. 8, 2019, and then pulling a shank made of plastic. A second assault occurred in jail on Sept. 25, 2019, involving a different correctional officer.

Clearly, he has a significant mental illness, that cannot be denied, and he has an extreme addiction issue. - Defence lawyer Alex Pate

In issuing the sentence, LeBlanc read extensively from a psychological report by Dr. Julian Gojer prepared for the defence, which traced Nowlan's addiction to drugs and declining mental state leading up to the crimes.

The report described how Nowlan had started using various drugs in his late teenage years and sometimes wouldn't sleep for days. The report indicated Nowlan became mistrustful and paranoid of his parents, claiming they were filming him and posting the video online and making millions of dollars from it.

The judge said Nowlan experienced drug-induced psychosis. He said the report points to a major mental illness, either a psychosis or schizophrenia.

"Clearly, he has a significant mental illness, that cannot be denied, and he has an extreme addiction issue," Alex Pate, Nowlan's defence lawyer, told the judge.

'I feel bad about it'

Nowlan told the judge he didn't mean to harm anyone, and that he's not a violent person.

"I feel bad about it, I wish I would've never done it," he said.

The judge pointed out he was sentencing Nowlan for three different violence offences and Nowlan previously assaulted his father.

LeBlanc imposed an overall sentence of six years for the home invasion, 18 additional months for assaulting a correctional officer with a plastic shank, and 30 more days for assaulting the second correctional officer.

Nowlan was given 933 days credit toward his prison time for the time he's spent in custody since arrest, reducing the total time he'll spend in prison to just over five years.