West Kelowna man who bound and gagged elderly woman sentenced

A West Kelowna man who bound and gagged an elderly woman over the course of a robbery has been sentenced to five years in prison.

A West Kelowna man who bound and gagged an elderly woman over the course of a robbery has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Benjamin Duane Barnhart, 25, was sentenced Tuesday for the 2015 robbery and granted enhanced credit for time served, which means approximately three and a half years remain on his prison sentence.

Barnhart first gained attention of the media after he broke into a home at the 2300 block of Butt Road, Oct. 25 at approximately 2:42 a.m.

Police said a masked man suspect forcibly gained entry into the home through a kitchen window.

“The victim, an 85 year old woman, was alone when she heard the suspect enter her home,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, at the time.

“She called out and was subsequently confronted by the suspect inside her bedroom. A struggle ensued between the suspect and the resident which lasted nearly 20 minutes, during which the suspect pulled the phone from the wall, and attempted to restrain and gag the elderly woman.”

The victim later fled her residence, she ran across the street to a neighbour where 911 was called.

She sustained minor injuries as a result of being attacked and did not require any medical attention at the scene.”

Barnhart, who demanded pain medications, jewellery and money, later fled the scene with the victim’s wallet which contained credit cards, and $200 in cash.

“The on-going police investigation revealed that the suspect later used the victim’s credit cards at various West Kelowna stores including Superstore, a Tim Horton’s, and London Drugs,” said O’Donaghey.