A Penticton man’s efforts at turning his life around were not enough to convince a judge giving him a sentence of over 1,000 days in jail.
Sean Garrett Duffy appeared in Penticton Provincial Court on Nov. 24, with his family to hear the judge’s decision on the multiple charges and cases against him.
After fifteen different charges were leveled against him in 2021 and 2022, Duffy had pleaded guilty and was facing sentencing for two charges of possession of a firearm while under a firearms prohibition, one charge of driving while disqualified and one assault.
Duffy was most recently arrested on Feb. 18, 2022, when he was found around a parking lot and going into an apartment building with a pistol and shotgun.
Duffy, who was already wanted on warrants for the assault and other charges, raised enough concerns that RCMP planned to intercept him, waiting until he was being taken out for dinner by his father.
After being arrested officers discovered that he was wearing a full soft-body-armour Kevlar-type vest that was loaded .22 calibre pistol and ammunition.
The pistol was described by the Crown as a “zip gun,” a complete firearm that uses pieces from multiple other kits and pieces, with the serial number filed off.
RCMP also found a loaded sawed-off shotgun in his truck and additional ammunition was recovered. A search of his residence uncovered further prohibited items, including knives, “tiger claws” or gloves with sharp spikes attached and aluminum knuckles.
“There was no question in my mind that this was an arsenal,” the judge said at sentencing on Nov. 24. “It was an arsenal that Mr. Duffy had.”
After being released from custody Duffy has spent time at an addiction treatment facility, where he made strides towards rehabilitation.
His efforts there, including sobriety, the mentorship of other individuals, an offer of employment from the facility and medication that helped other health issues were not enough to sway the judge into granting him a conditional sentence.
The Crown prosecutor was seeking a four-year jail sentence for Duffy, while defence wanted a conditional sentence served in the community.
In the end, the judge deemed the sheer amount of prohibited firearms that Duffy possessed and his criminal record including past violence made a jail sentence necessary.
Duffy was given a 1,470-day sentence, less time already served which means he will spend approximately 1,200 more days in custody.
The accused has a lengthy criminal history, including a conviction from October 2021, when he was sentenced to 12 months in jail for the lesser charge of fear of injury for a December 2020 crime in Penticton.
In 2016, Duffy, was driving while impaired when he hit a 19-year-old girl who was on the sidewalk. The young woman was pinned beneath the pickup, requiring emergency responders and bystanders to free her. The woman suffered serious injuries but survived and Duffy was sentenced to one year in prison and a five-year driving ban.
He was also sentenced to a one-year jail term for a charge of aggravated assault related to stabbing his roommate in 2016 in Abbotsford, resulting in a lifetime weapon prohibition being placed on him.