Oliver man sentenced to two years for robbery

Gun-wielding man broke into his neighbour's home demanding money

A troubling battle with alcohol is the reason Harjevan Gill said he robbed his Oliver neighbour.

Gill pled guilty to break and enter, disguising his face with the intent to commit an offence, using an imitation firearm and two breach of conditions on Monday at the Penticton provincial courthouse. He was sentenced on Tuesday morning by Judge Meg Shaw to two years less a day in jail and three years probation. Gill, 26, has been in jail since he breached his conditions in March 2011 and received no credit for that time behind bars.

It was around midnight in January of 2011 that Gill walked into his neighbour’s kitchen through an unlocked door brandishing a weapon and demanding money. Richard Walker was awoken by footsteps in his kitchen and went to investigate. Gill pointed a rifle at Walker demanding money. The homeowner went to the closet and pulled out $200 from his wallet, which Gill took. Although Gill was wearing a mask, Walker said he knew the man’s voice as one of the sons of his neighbour.

RCMP arrested Gill the following day and found clothing similar to what the intruder was wearing in his bedroom. A .30-calibre rifle was found in the garage but it could not be proved if it was used in the incident.

Gill then breached his release conditions to not be in contact with the couple when he went to their house asking for forgiveness and offering Walker the chance to punch him in the head. The man was also found to be under the influence and was acting belligerent towards the RCMP officers who arrested him for the breach.

Shaw said she read the victim impact statements and noticed “troubling comments” from the victimized couple. “The break and enter into the home of Dr. Kilpatrick and Mr. Walker will have long-term effects for them concerning their safety and security. Some people never recover or have peace of mind,” said Shaw.

Gill’s probation will include conditions that he is on a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. during the first six months, a lifetime firearms prohibition, that he abstain from alcohol and drugs, and not contact the victims or be within 10 metres of their property, school or workplace.