Alex Kurial/Local Journalism Initiative
Two people from Forest plead guilty to their involvement in a violent convenience store robbery in Thedford.
Chad Hyslop, 36, and Brooke Grant, 24, were in Sarnia Court on Sept. 22, nearly one year after the robbery at the Main St. Goco. They admitted helping Dillon Wellington, who made off with the cash register after waiving a knife at the store owners.
The pair were at the gas pumps and asked the clerk to slowly pump $5 worth of gas into their Pontiac G6. Wellington was inside trying to open the cash register with a knife.
The clerk noticed what was going on inside and went to confront Wellington. Grant and Hyslop took off.
When he was confronted by the owners, Wellington started throwing stuff at them, including a monitor which hit a woman in the head.
Wellington, who is from Thedford, ran to the neighboring Allen St. where he was confronted by neighbours. While they were attempting to restrain him, Hyslop and Grant drove up. The pair said they would take Wellington back to the gas station. The store owner had now arrived on the scene and police were en route, so the residents said this wasn’t necessary.
Without warning Grant threw the Pontiac into reverse and backed into the crowd. One bystander managed to break the back window before he was struck. Grant then shifted into drive and drove forward, sending several people running to avoid getting hit. Wellington got into the back seat and the three fled the scene.
Wellington received two-and-a-half years total in jail for the armed robbery and a jailhouse shower assault on another man as he awaited sentencing.
Justice Deborah Austin says while it’s clear the main offender in the robbery was Wellington, Hyslop and Grant were significant contributors and says the store owners are now fearful of new customers and “really have to try and overcome emotional trauma that was caused by this offense.
“There’s a ripple effect for the whole community when something like this occurs. It makes everybody feel less safe.”
“I’d like to apologize to the victims and the surrounding people that were in this matter. As I heard… they had severe trauma, and I don’t wish that upon anybody,” Hyslop says during sentencing.
“A year ago when I was out there, leading up to the crimes of this and the robbery that I’m serving, I was in a bad place with addiction,” Hyslop says. “Sitting here in this cell for the last year, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my life and where it’s going and what I’m going to do to fix it so I’m not continuing in these predicaments.”
Hyslop received two years in jail for this offense. This will run consecutive to a three-year robbery sentence he’s already serving.
Grant received 18 months of probation – a sentence Austin says is lenient. “You have taken significant steps away from a criminal lifestyle and the associates you were involved with at this time,” says Austin.