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Former immigration officer sentenced to 30 months for robbing woman


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Donald Hanley

(BVI NEWS) — Former Immigration Officer Donald Hanley has been sentenced to 30 months at Her Majesty’s Prison for robbing a woman in March last year.

The Virgin Gorda man’s sentence is to take effect from the date that he was first placed on remand, Justice Ann Marie Smith ruled on Friday.

In addition to the prison term, Hanley was ordered to pay the complainant $2,000 for the items that were reportedly stolen during the robbery.

He has up to January 2, 2020, to make the payment, or in default, he will spend an additional two months at the adult penitentiary.

Justice Smith also ordered him to write a letter of apology to the complainant.

In the meantime, his previous convictions, the fact that offence occurred at night and was a targeted and planned attack were aggravating factors that were considered in the sentencing.

Wanted cash to pay bank

Hanley admitted to the court that he chose to rob a female of $800 because he needed money to pay the bank.

When asked why he chose to steal instead of reaching out to his family for help, Hanley told the court through his attorney Patrick Thompson that he wanted to handle the situation on his own.

He said he did not want to burden his family with his troubles because they had responsibilities of their own.

What the court heard happened

The court heard that on the night in question, Hanley went to his mother’s apartment, which is close to where the complainant lived. While there, he changed into dark clothing and using a cloth, he covered his face and laid in wait.

The court heard that the complainant was almost home when he pounced on her and snatched her bag.

A scuffle ensued between the two, and the complainant was able to remove Hanley’s disguise before he ran off with her bag containing the cash. Hanley’s girlfriend then provided him with a ride home.

A report was subsequently made to the police and Hanley was arrested and charged for the offence.

His DNA was later extracted from the article of clothing which placed him at the scene, the court further heard.

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