Man won't return to jail for tossing Molotov cocktails at tattoo parlour

·2 min read

An Orillia man sentenced to 1,200 days in prison for throwing Molotov cocktails at a now-defunct tattoo parlour in Orillia will have to serve no time after getting credit for spending more than a year in jail — largely in isolation, and much of it during the pandemic — waiting for his day in court.

Andrew Gabourie, 31, had pleaded guilty to arson endangering life, breach of undertaking and throwing and possessing an explosive substance, after tossing Molotov cocktails into the Lucky Devil Tattoo parlour on Mississauga Street on Nov. 7, 2019. There was also a separate uttering threat charge.

Police were able to extinguish the fires before firefighters arrived and had information from witnesses who saw and filmed someone tossing the gasoline-filled bottles at the building. They also found Gabourie at the scene smelling of gas.

Police were familiar with Gabourie, who had previously been the subject of investigations related to violent offences and mental health issues and had a lengthy record, Justice Angela McLeod of the Ontario Court of Justice noted in her written decision late last week.

Prior to throwing the gas explosives, Gabourie who takes medications for several mental health issues, including manic bipolar disorder, suggested the women inside leave because he didn’t want to hurt them.

He participated in the sentencing hearing remotely via Zoom from what is now called the behavioural stabilization unit, formerly known as segregation, where he spent all of his 435 days of his pre-sentence custody, the judge pointed out.

“Mr. Gabourie swore an affidavit in which he attested that he spends 23 hours per day in his cell. He gets 20 to 30 minutes of recreation in the yard, and time for a shower every other day. He eats in his cell. He has no interaction with other inmates,” McLeod wrote, adding there were 30-plus misconducts tallied against him in jail along with self-harming behaviour.

McLeod wrote that Gabourie is also entitled to extra credit for having to endure adverse conditions imposed through the COVID-19 pandemic and increased risks as well as credit for pleading guilty.

“I find that Mr. Gabourie’s pre-sentence custody would have been more difficult, and the anxiety felt by most offenders would be exponentially so by Mr. Gabourie, who suffers with a severe anxiety disorder. He has attested to the stress and the impact on his mental health. He has sadly engaged in self-harming behaviour as a result,” she wrote, adding that any resulting sentence would be more difficult on him.

The 1,200 combined days to which he was sentenced was offset by credit for pre-trial custody, harsh conditions in jail, and spending that time locked up during the unusual circumstances presented by the pandemic.

Marg. Bruineman, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, barrietoday.com