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Heart plays role in judge's decision

A Prince George provincial court judge took into account a man's heart condition when she gave him a slight break on sentencing Wednesday, after he pleaded guilty to playing a role in a confinement and robbery.

A Prince George provincial court judge took into account a man's heart condition when she gave him a slight break on sentencing Wednesday, after he pleaded guilty to playing a role in a confinement and robbery.

Crown prosecution had been seeking a two-year term for Myles Hunter Alec, 23, but judge Elizabeth Bayliff decided on two years less five days so he could serve the term in a provincial jail after learning inmates must pass through metal detectors at all federal institutions in B.C.

Alec relies on an internal pacemaker with an external attachment to a defibrillator and cardiac monitor to keep his heart pumping and a metal detector would hinder the device's operation, the court was told.

Alec pleaded guilty to one count each of unlawful confinement and assault with a weapon and two counts of possession of stolen property in relation to an incident that began on Feb. 28.

Earlier that day the victim, a 68-year-old man, had driven Alec and his fiance and her sister from Burns Lake to an 1100-block Ahbau Street home in Prince George.

In the afternoon, the man returned to pick the two up to go back to Burns Lake but after he was invited inside the home, he was assaulted and robbed by Alec and five others who had armed themselves with various weapons, according to circumstances read into the court record.

Alec was carrying a small bat and was a party to the incident but did not personally assault the man, the court heard. The man was forced to give up his bank cards, personal identification numbers and the keys to his vehicle.

The man was held in the home for two hours before Alec and some others moved the man to an Oak Street home and held him against his will. The next day, Alec then moved him to a 2100-block Redwood Street home, using the man's vehicle.

On March 2, police stopped Alec while he was driving the vehicle and found he was doing so without the owner's permission. Police also then discovered he had used the bank cards to twice withdraw $211.50 and to make a purchase of $106.51.

Alec pleaded guilty to the charges mid-trial saying he wanted to get the matter over with because he needed to go through major heart surgery that can only be performed once out of jail because recovery takes three months. Once that's completed, Alec will go through a further surgery to have his spleen removed because cancer has been found in the organ.

Speaking to the court, Alec maintained he could "beat the charges" if the trial continued but needed to know now when he could get out. The trial was scheduled to reconvene in April.

But Bayliff found he made his decision after receiving "extremely thorough" advice from an experienced legal counsel, Brian Gilson, and dismissed Alec's comments as "bravado."

She also found that Alex was not the ringleader in the incident and took part because he was led to believe the man did or said something inappropriate to the fiance's sister.

Alec, who had already spent 210 days in custody, was given credit of 1.5 days for each day served prior to sentencing, working out to 315 days, so he will have 410 days left to serve.

The trial will continue for his co-accused, Wayne Victor Willier.