© Star photo by Gary Kean
Veronica Park looks towards her parents sitting in the provincial court gallery prior to being sent to prison for three years in Corner Brook Wednesday.
Veronica Ann Park has been sent to prison for three years for the violent robbery of an 82-year-old woman in Corner Brook a month ago.
Park, 37, entered guilty pleas to robbery and breach of a recognizance when she appeared before Judge Wayne Gorman in provincial court in Corner Brook Wednesday morning.
Crown attorney John Noseworthy read a statement of facts about the incident that happened just before midnight on April 22.
He told the court that the victim had been out celebrating her birthday and was playing the video lottery terminals at a bar on Broadway. The woman said she noticed a girl come in and watch her playing, but never paid much attention to the woman.
After cashing out with $153 in winnings, the older woman left the bar. When she got on Burke’s Road, a side road off Broadway, the victim said she was pushed down to the ground by the younger woman who had been watching her earlier.
Park grabbed the woman’s purse and ran off across Broadway.
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The woman, who suffered a broken arm and lacerations to her right knee in the attack, said she had around $400 in the purse. The victim was not in court Wednesday, but in a victim impact statement she filed with the court, she said it was not the idea of having money stolen from her that has had the most effect on her.
The victim said she feels like she has lost her sense of independence because the injury has affected her ability to perform day-to-day chores. She also expressed grief over the potential loss of other personal items that were in her purse, including her Indian status card, other important cards and family photos.
The purse and its contents were eventually recovered by the police, Noseworthy informed the court.
Park, who has a 17-page record of prior convictions, told the court she had hit rock bottom and was desperate for money the night of the incident. She expressed remorse and apologized to the victim and the court for what happened.
Noseworthy and defence lawyer Peter Chaffey made a joint submission to Gorman, requesting the three-year prison term.
Park said she hopes to use the time in prison to get her life back in order.