P.E.I. man convicted after recanting armed robbery confession

·2 min read
Gordon Gallant waits outside a P.E.I. Supreme Court room in Charlottetown for the judge's decision. (Brian Higgins/CBC - image credit)
Gordon Gallant waits outside a P.E.I. Supreme Court room in Charlottetown for the judge's decision. (Brian Higgins/CBC - image credit)

A Charlottetown man was found guilty of armed robbery in P.E.I. Supreme Court Thursday, after trying earlier to recant a confession he made to police investigators.

Gordon Leo Gallant, 38, had pleaded not guilty at trial to the armed robbery, which took place at Nick's Food Market in Charlottetown in January, 2020.

A man wearing a ski mask and armed with a sawed-off 12 gauge shotgun pointed the weapon at the store clerk and made off with about $200 in cash.

During his trial earlier this year, Gallant testified that he owned a shotgun but not the one that police found in the back of the car he drove that day. Police also found a black ski mask in the car.

Gallant also argued that his statement to police was not made voluntarily, and that one of the investigating officers had a personal grudge against him.

P.E.I. Supreme Court exhibit
P.E.I. Supreme Court exhibit

The judge rejected those arguments, saying they just didn't add up.

In her decision, Justice Nancy Key referred to the gun, store security video and a videotaped interview with police, in which Gallant confessed.

The judge referred to several incriminated statements in that interview.

"I'm so sorry. It wasn't even loaded," Gallant said to police on the tape. "I will repay him every cent."

"I even pointed it away from him," he said.

'No other logical conclusion'

Justice Key said she was convinced Gallant was the robber.

"Mr. Gallant admitted he did the crime. There were many details in the statement that only the perpetrator would have known," she said.

"There is no other logical conclusion."

Brian Higgins/CBC
Brian Higgins/CBC

Gallant represented himself in court. He has no prior criminal record.

The Crown prosecutor said Gallant faces significant time in jail for the armed robbery charge and for wearing a mask while committing the robbery.

The judge urged him to consult a lawyer before he comes back for sentencing Oct. 5.

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