Man sentenced for assaulting, robbing Cape Breton senior

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Larry Daniel John Stevens appeared in Sydney provincial court Tuesday via video conference from the Cape Breton Correctional Centre.  (Wendy Martin/CBC - image credit)
Larry Daniel John Stevens appeared in Sydney provincial court Tuesday via video conference from the Cape Breton Correctional Centre. (Wendy Martin/CBC - image credit)

A Nova Scotia man has expressed remorse for his role in the attack of a Cape Breton senior late last year.

Larry Daniel John Stevens of Eskasoni was sentenced to four years and seven months in jail for assault and robbery Tuesday in Sydney provincial court.

"I am remorseful, I feel bad for the family," Stevens said while appearing by video from the Cape Breton Correctional Centre.

The encounter began on the evening of Dec. 14, 2020, outside the Sydney Credit Union on Townsend Street when the 75-year-old victim had just finished checking his bank account.

The court heard that Stevens approached the man looking for a drive.

One witness saw him blocking the senior from getting into the driver's side of his vehicle. Stevens then got into the victim's car with two other people.

Man, 75, struck by 3 people

After being told to drive to Rotary Drive in Sydney, the victim pulled onto nearby Cromarty Street where he was struck by the three passengers, causing heavy bleeding.

Stevens then took off with the victim's keys, bank and health cards. The Crown said it was Stevens who caused most of the victim's injuries.

A statement was read Tuesday in court on behalf of the victim, Donald Cameron.

Cameron said it took five weeks to recover from a fractured cheekbone, broken nose and a large cut above his eye, among other injuries. Today, his nose and breathing still bother him.

"I am more alert and anxious than I ever was before," the statement read. "It's impacted my relationships with my friends and family where I don't get out anymore. I feel more detached from them."

Judge accepts recommendation from Crown, defence

Cameron saw financial losses after paying for an ambulance, a drive to see a plastic surgeon in Antigonish, N.S., new glasses, and having the blood cleaned up from his car.

Judge Peter Ross accepted a joint recommendation on behalf of the Crown and defence that gave Stevens credit for five months spent in custody.

Questions were raised related to a charge of Stevens wearing a mask while committing the offence. "You were perhaps even required to wear it as a public health measure," Ross said.

For the offence of concealing his face, Stevens received a one-day jail sentence.

Ross said he acknowledged Stevens's willingness to accept responsibility for his actions. The judge also considered past criminal behaviour that included a 2014 robbery and a 2018 conviction for criminal negligence causing death.

The court heard that Stevens was under the influence at the time of Cameron's assault. According to a pre-sentence report, he has struggled with addiction, particularly with alcohol.

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