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Chilliwack man's apology for violent home invasion rings hollow

Chilliwack courthouse. - File
Chilliwack courthouse.
— image credit: File

A Chilliwack man who took part in a violent home invasion is learning it’s too late to be sorry after you’ve fought a conviction in the courts.

During a sentencing hearing in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack last Friday, Steven Tkachuk’s lawyer Gurpreet Gill said “he is so embarrassed and ashamed of his actions” for his participation along with two other men in a 2012 break-and-enter where a sleeping couple were terrorized and robbed in their home.

“Clearly there is no guilty plea here,” Crown Counsel Grant Lindsay pointed out. “That would have been an actual show of remorse.”

The incident involved the 45-year-old Tkachuk, David Lee Ganaway, 31, and Marc Cadieux, 42, breaking into a home where a couple was asleep. The trio proceeded to beat the husband, threaten the wife and steal a significant amount of jewelry and cash from a safe.

The uninsured couple lost approximately $50,000 and they spent a further $10,000 in security upgrades after the incident.

The couple also—senselessly, according to Lindsay—had family videos stolen and discarded.

But worst of all, they were traumatized and have suffered mentally and emotionally.

“It’s callous to terrorize people this way in their own home,” Lindsay told the court.

Tkachuk’s lawyer argued that he feels remorse, he is a hard-working man, and he was duped into the crime thinking he was helping his co-accused, Cadieux, to pay off a debt.

The judge interrupted Gill to point out that participating in a robbery to “help” someone else did not engender sympathy.

“That counts for almost nothing,” Joyce said.

Gill also argued during the trial and again at the sentencing hearing that her client did not think anyone would be in the house when the plan was hatched.

Neither the Crown nor the judge buy it.

“They didn’t leave when they found it wasn’t empty,” Lindsay said.

Joyce said he didn’t believe it since the men entered the house wearing masks, and the plan was to get the contents of a safe, which required someone to open it.

“They knew that there were people in the house,” Joyce told Gill.

Of the two other participants in the home invasion, Ganaway was charged first and gave up his two partners. He pleaded guilty early on and was sentenced to two years, eight months, including time served in custody.

The third man, Marc Cadieux, was the leader in the plot. He was convicted earlier this year and is still before the courts facing a dangerous offender designation.

Cadieux was also convicted of attempting to steal an ATM machine from a Chilliwack convenience store in May of 2012 while dressed like a police officer.

Crown counsel is asking for four years in jail for Tkachuk, minus time served. Tkachuk has now served 637 days in custody and Lindsay asked for a complicated formula involving something between one and one-and-a-half times credit for time served.

Tkachuk is seeking three years minus time served. Joyce is scheduled to sentence Tkachuk Aug. 22.

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