atmvhd · 2021-03-10

Federal time for second home invader

Timothy Andrew Nightingale, 23, of Collingwood, pleaded guilty in the Ontario Court of Justice Apr. 14 to the indictable offences of breaking and entering a dwelling and using an imitation firearm in the commission of the crime. He was sentenced to two and a half years behind bars in a federal penitentiary, to be followed by three years on probation.

Nightingale’s jointly accused – Grant Shuttleworth, also 23 and a Collingwood resident – pleaded guilty to similar charges plus a breach of probation last December. He received four years in a federal penitentiary.

Prosecutor Paul Billington began by summarizing the evidence with a lengthy statement describing the case. He read that at 4:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 21, 2008, both accused went to a Matthew Way Co-op address, where they tried to buzz in but were denied entry. Driven by alcohol and seeking revenge for an uncle who was seriously assaulted 10 days before, Shuttleworth "went to the steel door and kicked it in," Billington said. Both men entered wearing cloth masks and brandishing air guns. A five-minute reign of terror by Nightingale and Shuttleworth ensued, during which the mother of two girls, age 11 and 13, was threatened with death if she did not reveal the whereabouts of the male occupant. According to earlier evidence, Nightingale was ordered upstairs to search in vain for the other man – who remained safely hidden in a closet throughout the invasion.

Meanwhile the mother had dialed 911, leaving the line open for the dispatcher to hear as both perpetrators "walked around smashing a television and ripping off closet doors." A bedroom door was also broken in half, added the Crown.

At one point Nightingale confronted the younger girl, after first kicking in her unlocked bedroom door. While the terrified victim watched from a corner, he told her: "I’m sorry, I don’t like doing this to kids." Shuttleworth then warned both girls and their mother that "there will be blood" if they could not locate the man they sought.

When police arrived at approximately 4:45 a.m., Nightingale – who was still holding the weapon – attempted to flee, court heard.

It was admitted in Tuesday’s court by both counsel that the first offender "doesn’t recall pointing a gun, but might have."

Trial lawyer Cecile Applegate said on her client’s behalf: "They were playing around with air guns. Shuttleworth tied a bandana around Mr. Nightingale’s face and his own. He thinks it’s a joke. When Shuttleworth kicked in the door, Mr. Nightingale knows it’s no longer a joke. Unfortunately he could have turned around and walked out, but he didn’t."

The accused stood before Mr. Justice Roland Harris: "I’d just like to say I’m very sorry," he said.

The defendant will be bound by a weapons ban for life. A DNA order will be affected within days, and his probationary period will address issues of alcohol abuse and empathy.

"Three hundred years ago," wrote Harris, "Sir Edward Coke came up with the phrase: ‘A man’s home is his castle.’ It’s usually the one place you can feel safe. Instead, in this case what was in store for a number of people not to mention the target, was stark horror.

Woman guilty of phony sex assault claim

A 38-year-old area woman pleaded guilty Apr. 14 to a charge of public mischief, after she misled police by reporting a sexual assault on herself.

The Ontario Court of Justice heard that on Dec. 19, 2007, Huronia West officers were contacted by Lisa Szymanski about an alleged incident at her rural Clearview Township home. The accused told police that "Todd," whom she said was a Barrie City firefighter, had sexually assaulted her. As a result, a full investigation was launched, a sexual assault evidence kit was procured, and a myriad of documents were investigated in the case.

Crown attorney Paul Billington said in the course of their investigation officers interviewed a male friend of Szymanski’s who stated the accused was with him in Oshawa on the date in question. As it happened, there was a Todd – who is also a Barrie fireman. He too was interviewed, providing an alibi and having no prior knowledge of Szymanski.

On Jan. 26, 2008, the defendant was summoned to the Huronia West detachment for further questioning. This time she was cautioned and decided to confess. When asked about her motivation for lying, the accused said "her family was pressuring her." She was also asked how she could go through the kit. According to the Crown, she replied: "It was just one more step in the process."

Defence counsel Gary Picard said Szymanski cancelled a medical appointment to spend the day in Oshawa instead. "She picked a name and a profession, and unfortunately there was a Todd," the lawyer added.

Although Picard declined to give his position on sentencing, Billington said the Crown is seeking three to four months behind bars.

The case will revisit a court on June 9 for pre-sentence report and for sentencing. Mr. Justice Roland Harris also ordered a transcript of the proceedings for the return date.

Woman jailed six months for break-in

Andrea Falls, 24, of Creemore, pleaded guilty Apr. 14 to breaking and entering a dwelling house, receiving six months behind bars to be followed by 12 months on probation.

The prosecution stated that overnight on Dec. 11, 2008, Falls and three others went on foot to an unoccupied address on the 6/7 Sideroad in Clearview Township. Once there, they forced open the front door by breaking a window, taking food, liquor, and some clothing. The Crown added that in the same time frame the accused smashed a window of an attached garage and took liquor, tools, and a 20-gallon fuel container.

Police were called soon after by the homeowner, later finding about $1,000 in damage attributable to Falls, with the remainder owed by her co-accused. All four had allegedly put their vehicle in the ditch that night, and being unable to extricate it, spent the night in the victim’s home.

Falls will be subject to a DNA order and she can’t associate with any of her jointly accused. In addition she will obey a nightly curfew from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., while staying away from the victim’s address. Treatment and counselling for crack cocaine, depression, and respect for other people’s property were all endorsed as terms of probation.

Probation for wallet theft

A 40-year-old Collingwood man entered a guilty plea Apr. 14 to the offence of theft under $5,000, receiving a suspended sentence as 12 months on probation.

Craig Fawcett was also ordered to pay $200 restitution to the victim within seven days. Crown attorney Paul Billington told the court that on Dec. 22, 2008, Collingwood officers were called by the Meridian Credit Union on Ste. Marie Street about a customer’s stolen wallet. The complainant allegedly "set the wallet down while doing business" before Fawcett snatched and and concealed it . Examination of the bank’s video surveillance ultimately showed the accused wearing a blue ski jacket as he committed the crime.

"Did he get away with the wallet?" asked Mr. Justice Roland Harris.

"Yes", replied the Crown.

"Did the victim get any of it back?"

"Not yet," said the prosecutor.

Fawcett can’t be near the Credit Union or the victim, and he was ordered to write a letter of apology to the latter within the week.