Man sentenced to 13 years for daylight attack that left two young girls shot at Scarborough playground

A man who opened fire in a Scarborough playground — injuring two little girls — has been sentenced to 13 years in prison, less six months for pre-trial custody, by a Toronto judge who reduced his penalty because of his guilty plea during the COVID-19 pandemic.Earlier this month, T’Quan Robertson pleaded guilty to attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault for the brazen June 14, 2018 attack in broad daylight in a busy playground.Robertson and another man fired 10 shots through a wooden fence into the basketball area of the playground at 80 Alton Towers Circle intending to kill a rival.The hail of gunfire missed the target but two sisters playing weren’t as fortunate, Superior Court Justice John McMahon said Thursday. A five-year-old girl was struck with a bullet in the abdomen. Her nine-year-old sister was hit by a bullet in her leg. Both underwent emergency surgery and survived. Their identity is covered under a publication ban.“This family will deal with the terrible emotional impact of this shooting for the rest of their lives,” McMahon said reading his reasons for sentence.The person who most succinctly captured “why denunciation must be paramount” in this case was the now eleven-year-old victim, the judge continued. In her victim impact statement, she wrote: “When I got shot, I felt sad. No child should have to pay the price for gun violence.”Prosecutors had asked for a 15-year penitentiary sentence. Robertson’s defence lawyer, John Struthers, had asked for 10 years.While the judge said a 15-year sentence is not unreasonable — he noted Robertson was on the lam for two years — he said he was not satisfied it gives sufficient credit for an early guilty plea “in these unique times in the middle of a pandemic.”“The reality is despite everyone’s efforts, the inventory or backlog of cases is growing,” so those who elect early pleas, which saves valuable court resources, will be entitled “to an even more significant reduction of their sentence than they would in usual times,” he said.Robertson has been in custody since July 28. Because of the severity of incarceration during the pandemic, he’s entitled to additional pre-trial credit comparable to six months, leaving him with twelve years and six months to serve, the judge said.Robertson indicated to the court he was born in 1994 — which makes him 26 — and not 1995, as stated on his indictment. Two co-accused are still facing trial.Robertson was wanted by police for two years and was arrested this past July after a $75,000 reward was offered.Betsy Powell is a Toronto-based reporter covering crime and courts for the Star. Follow her on Twitter: @powellbetsy

Man sentenced to 13 years for daylight attack that left two young girls shot at Scarborough playground

A man who opened fire in a Scarborough playground — injuring two little girls — has been sentenced to 13 years in prison, less six months for pre-trial custody, by a Toronto judge who reduced his penalty because of his guilty plea during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this month, T’Quan Robertson pleaded guilty to attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault for the brazen June 14, 2018 attack in broad daylight in a busy playground.

Robertson and another man fired 10 shots through a wooden fence into the basketball area of the playground at 80 Alton Towers Circle intending to kill a rival.

The hail of gunfire missed the target but two sisters playing weren’t as fortunate, Superior Court Justice John McMahon said Thursday. A five-year-old girl was struck with a bullet in the abdomen. Her nine-year-old sister was hit by a bullet in her leg. Both underwent emergency surgery and survived. Their identity is covered under a publication ban.

“This family will deal with the terrible emotional impact of this shooting for the rest of their lives,” McMahon said reading his reasons for sentence.

The person who most succinctly captured “why denunciation must be paramount” in this case was the now eleven-year-old victim, the judge continued. In her victim impact statement, she wrote: “When I got shot, I felt sad. No child should have to pay the price for gun violence.”

Prosecutors had asked for a 15-year penitentiary sentence. Robertson’s defence lawyer, John Struthers, had asked for 10 years.

While the judge said a 15-year sentence is not unreasonable — he noted Robertson was on the lam for two years — he said he was not satisfied it gives sufficient credit for an early guilty plea “in these unique times in the middle of a pandemic.”

“The reality is despite everyone’s efforts, the inventory or backlog of cases is growing,” so those who elect early pleas, which saves valuable court resources, will be entitled “to an even more significant reduction of their sentence than they would in usual times,” he said.

Robertson has been in custody since July 28. Because of the severity of incarceration during the pandemic, he’s entitled to additional pre-trial credit comparable to six months, leaving him with twelve years and six months to serve, the judge said.

Robertson indicated to the court he was born in 1994 — which makes him 26 — and not 1995, as stated on his indictment.

Two co-accused are still facing trial.

Robertson was wanted by police for two years and was arrested this past July after a $75,000 reward was offered.

Betsy Powell is a Toronto-based reporter covering crime and courts for the Star. Follow her on Twitter: @powellbetsy

Source : Toronto Star More