A man has been sentenced to four years in jail for firing a rifle into a Cranbrook apartment building earlier this year.
Victor Russell Gravelle pleaded guilty in Cranbrook provincial court on Wednesday, Nov. 27 to unlawfully discharging a firearm.
The charge stems from a Feb. 24 incident, the Crown explained, when Gravelle fired a Winchester .270 rifle into a third floor apartment on King Street, Cranbrook.
Gravelle was a resident of the apartment block when, at 2:38 a.m., he took the rifle from his apartment, went down to the parking lot, and fired from his truck into the third-floor residence of his neighbour. The bullet went through the window and lodged in the wall.
His neighbour was sitting on the couch by the window at the time but was not hit by the bullet.
Gravelle told police that he assumed his neighbour was home but could not see him by the window.
He also told police that he just wanted to scare his neighbour, who owed him $500.
Police reported that Gravelle appeared intoxicated at the time.
Gravelle has been in custody since the offence. He was granted bail in April but was unable to meet release conditions.
The charge of unlawfully discharging a firearm comes with a mandatory minimum four year sentence.
Judge Ron Webb gave Gravelle that sentence, minus the time he has already served, which brings it down to three years and 89 days jail.
The judge also imposed a 10-year weapons prohibition on Gravelle and a no-contact order with the former neighbour and the neighbour’s girlfriend.
“This was a poor decision largely fuelled by alcohol and at the end of the day no one was hurt,” Judge Webb said in his decision.
“I am bound by the criminal code which provides a minimum sentence. In my view the mandatory minimum sentence misses the fact that there are other factors that should be taken into consideration. It does result in an injustice being imposed.”