PICTOU – A Pictou Landing man who illegally entered someone’s home will now be spending a great deal of time in his own.
Craig Joseph Francis, 26, pleaded guilty to unlawfully entering a dwelling house and assault and has been sentenced to eight months’ house arrest as part of a 12-month conditional sentence.
The charges were laid after an incident on Jan. 20 in New Glasgow when a man reported to police that he was in bed when two men entered his home and assaulted him.
The victim told police he was in bed sleeping when he heard banging on his door. He told police he was punched in the jaw and the face and one of the men threatened to kill him and his daughter.
He said the men told him they didn’t like who he was hanging out with and wanted him out of the neighbourhood.
The men left the home, but not before one of them broke the glass on his door window.
Francis said he had been drinking alcohol for many hours that night and didn’t know the men well that he was with that evening. He told police a conversation focused on a man in the neighbourhood that some of the men in the group didn’t like.
Gorman said Francis’s pre-sentence report is very positive, describing him as hard worker who is in a supportive relationship with his wife and children.
He did confess to the charges early on in the investigation and is with a prior criminal record.
However, Gorman said, the incident left the victim with psychological trauma, including anger, anxiety and overall fear. He added that home invasions cannot be tolerated and the court needs to send a strong message of denunciation and deterrence.
Defence lawyer Hector MacIsaac said his client was intoxicated at the time and made a “bad choice.” He said his client has good reputation in the community and accepted responsibility for his actions by “coming clean” in this pre-sentence report.
Judge Del Atwood said home invasions leave a person feeling unsafe in their own homes and have lasting effects on the victim.
“That sense of safety is rarely every regained,” he said.
In addition to the conditional sentence order, Francis was also ordered to pay two $250 victim surcharge fines.