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Man gets prison for robbery of purse outside local store


PICTOU – A second South Shore man charged with robbery outside a New Glasgow drug store in 2013 has been sentenced to more than two years in federal prison.

Jayden Hugh Chandler Piercy, 26, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Pictou provincial court to a charge of robbery with a weapon in connection with a purse snatching outside Shoppers Drug Mart on East River Road on Sept. 23, 2013. 

He also pleaded guilty to theft of a licence plate and theft of a bottle of rum from a Port Hawkesbury liquor store about two weeks prior to the robbery in New Glasgow. Charges of theft of an iPhone, wearing a disguise to commit an offence and breach of a court order by failing to appear in court were dismissed by the Crown.

In a statement of facts to the court, Crown attorney Bill Gorman said the female victim was standing outside Shoppers Drug Mart around 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 23, 2013, opening a package of ear buds she had just purchased from the store. She felt a hand on her left shoulder from behind and saw a black and white can in her face.  The victim told police she felt a tugging of her purse that was strung over her shoulder, and it was removed. She saw two men running away, but there was intense burning in her eyes and on her arm.

Gorman said Jayden and his brother Justin, 31, who was sentenced last month to two years in federal prison for his role in the case, left Cape Breton and drove their truck to New Glasgow.

Rosina Ernst, who was in the truck at the time with the brothers, said in a police statement that the Piercys had been consuming hydromorphone throughout the day by crushing up the prescription medication and snorting it up their noses.

“She said she had no knowledge of what the brothers were up to, but did say they were going through withdrawal and in need of a fix,” said Gorman during the sentencing hearing.

In her statement, Ernst told the police she didn’t see the Piercys after they left the truck until they returned about 10 minutes later and told her to drive away.

Later that evening, she said Jayden handed her a cellphone and asked her to sell it, which she did for $40 to her stepmother.

Police later located the stolen phone through a GPS application which led them to the Piercy brothers. A licence plate stolen from a vehicle earlier in the day was also recovered from the truck driven during the incident.

In a victim impact statement to the court, the woman said she has been left both emotionally and physically scarred from the incident.

She said the irritant sprayed in her face left her eyes sore for about a week and that she could not work during this time. She told the court she now experiences anxiety about walking alone and stays away from area of New Glasgow where the incident occurred.

Judge Del Atwood sentenced Jayden to two years plus a day in federal prison for the robbery and additional 30 days consecutive sentences each for the theft of the licence plate and theft of liquor.

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