Walter Spence, 49, was sentenced Tuesday to five years for armed robbery and six months for possessing a prohibited weapon.
Supreme Court Justice Emily Burke delivered the sentence in Kelowna, Sept. 12 after receiving a joint submission from the Crown and defense – unless there are unusual circumstances, Judges are expected to follow joint submissions.
On Feb. 17, 2016, four individuals including Spence drove to an apartment complex on Glenmore Road North.
One of the individuals, a woman, repeatedly knocked on the door of an apartment. When the resident answered Spence, and an individual carrying a knife, burst through the door. Spence was holding a .22 caliber sawed-off rifle.
During the conflict, the gun went off. “Mr. Spence said ‘we need to go, I shot myself in the face,’” said Burke.
Spence lost his eye in the accident and Burke said he has a bullet still lodged in his brain.
After Spence was driven to the hospital, the vehicle was searched revealing a bloody backpack, a sawed-off rifle and four .22 caliber bullets, said Burke.
He received the mandatory minimum sentence because he sought help for his drug addiction while in custody.
“Mr. Spence has remained clean in jail and has suffered a live changing injury that he must deal with, including dizziness and cognition problems,” said Burke.
“(The sentence) also provides some opportunity and potential for rehabilitation which Mr. Spence has demonstrated while in custody,” said Burke.
Spence has a criminal record which includes theft, drug procession, breaches of probation and more.