A Port Coquitlam man could spend the next eight years behind bars for a robbery spree that spanned several Lower Mainland communities last year.
On Wednesday, a judge in Port Coquitlam provincial court sentenced Anthony Robert Bakker, 37, to eight years in prison plus time served after he pled guilty to 21 charges, 18 of which were for robbery and three for theft.
Bakker was arrested by Coquitlam Mounties on Jan. 4, after getting caught stealing a handful of lottery tickets from a Port Coquitlam liquor store.
As a result of the investigation, the PoCo resident was charged with 21 crimes, including 10 robberies and two thefts in Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam, six robberies in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge, and two robberies in Burnaby dating back to last fall.
He was also sentenced to two years for the theft charges, which he will serve concurrently with the robbery charges, and given a lifetime ban on owning firearms.
Both Crown and defense agreed on the terms of the sentence.
While the facts of the case were not read out in court, Bakker's lawyer Ed Cooper did offer some history about his client.
He noted Bakker was raised by religious parents in Port Coquitlam, but at the age of 13 he started to rebel.
Bakker got involved with cocaine and failed to finish high school on time.
In 2003, he was convicted of manslaughter, though the details of that conviction were not discussed in court.
While in jail, Cooper said his client became addicted to opiates, and when freed in 2012, he essentially came out an addict.
His lawyer noted he did start to work on getting his electrician's ticket while in prison.
Cooper explained that Bakker began robbing to maintain his drug habit.
Though Bakker didn't address the judge at sentencing, his lawyer noted he wanted to plead guilty to all the charges and take responsibility for his actions. Cooper said his client feels remorse for his crimes and wants to continue to work on becoming an electrician.
"You are a puzzle," Judge Patricia Janzen told Bakker during his sentencing hearing.
She suggested he was a "smart guy" - in reference to his success at working on his electrician's training - who grew up with good parents.
However, Janzen said Bakker must be accountable for his mistakes and agreed with the sentence brought forward by the Crown and defense.
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