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Nicksy ended up shooting the homeowner, Steven Gidge, in the back after he and Jeffrey Santerre threatened him with a sawed off shotgun.
Gidge nearly died, as some of the shotgun pellets that entered his body came within millimetres of hitting key arteries. More than 100 shotgun pellets were lodged in his lungs, neck and head.
Nicksy was arrested at a city residence later that day.
Santerre’s arrest came Aug. 26 primarily due to the use of video surveillance footage.
Two women in the car that the two men travelled in on Aug. 12 were also charged, as was a fifth person, who was charged with accessory after the fact.
On Tuesday, Nicksy, now 27, and Santere, 42, entered guilty pleas and received 10 and seven year jail terms respectively.
“Not a day goes by I don’t think about this scenario and play it over and over in my head,” Nicksy, who was accompanied in court by his mother, father and grandfather, told Superior Court Justice Robert Del Frate. “No matter what I think about, it comes down to I shouldn’t have been there in the first place. It should never have happened .
“I don’t believe what I see (in evidence photographs) today . It has taken this long to wrap my head around it with regard to the facts . I just want to get all the help I need so this never happens again.”
Santette, likewise, said he was sorry.
“I apologize for my behaviour,” he told Del Frate. “I am very remorseful for what happened.”
Santerre’s sister, who was sitting behind him, broke into tears upon hearing the words.
Since Nicksy had been in custody since Aug. 12, 2016, he received pre custody credit of 27 months. That leaves him with about seven years and nine months jail to serve.
Santerre received pre custody credit of two years and 75 days, leaving him with four years, nine months and 15 days jail to serve.
Nicksy and Santerre were also issued lifetime weapons bans, ordered not to contact Gidge or members of his family while in custody, and ordered to provide a genetic sample to the national DNA databank.
Both men had prior records. Santerre received a two year jail term in 2009 for a weapons conviction. Nicksy was also under two weapons orders,
as well as a probation order he received the month before the home invasion.
The Crown dropped charges against Raymond Willard, 26, who was facing a count of accessory after the fact.
“I am tired,” Willard told The Sudbury Star outside the courtroom. “It was a long time. I’m glad it’s over. It’s destroyed me otherwise.”
Gidge said in an interview after court that he was happy with the sentences Nicksy and Santerre received.
“First of all, I’d like to thank all the (police) officers in the case, all the ambulance drivers, all the personnel at the hospital and the Crown,” he said. “A hell of a job.”
Gidge said he is back at work, feeling good and is able to move his left arm much better now.
“I was hit by lightning at 32, shot by a shotgun at 42,” he joked. “I’m worried about getting to 52.”
Gidge did not provide a victim impact statement to the court, nor did he address Justice Del Frate.
Del Frate, in accepting the joint sentencing submission by the Crown, and defence lawyers Terry Waltenbury (for Nicksy) and Robert Beckett (Santerre), told Nicksy and Santerre they were lucky Gidge survived the shotgun blast.
“It could have been first degree (murder),” he said. “You broke into a home with a loaded shotgun. He was sleeping and you shoot him. Mr. Santerre, you didn’t pull the trigger, but you were there and just as responsible as Mr. Nicksy, who did. I would be imposing a sentence of life .
“So, you get out of this 10 and seven (years), but it’s what could have happened. I know both of you think a lot about what happened that particular day, but keep it in your thoughts: you could have been facing life.”
Del Frate encouraged both men to take advantage of programs while in the penitentiary.
“This is an opportunity for you to change your lifestyle,” he said. “Mr. Santerre, you are in your mid 40s. Mr. Nicksy, you are in your mid 20s. You are going to be gone from society for a number of years before getting released. You are both relatively young individuals.
“But, when you are out of the penitentiary and you get involved in groups of people you have associated with in the past, you get the opportunity to have another crack cocaine hit or another type of drug, you have to take action to get treatment and avoid those drugs. They are not good for you or society . This is an opportunity to get the treatment you require to get out of the bad lifestyle both of you have been in for much of your lives. You both started in criminal activity in your teens and it persisted.”