3 min

Chatline assault ‘predatory, planned and premeditated’

McDonald going to jail for luring a gay man to rob him

 A Vancouver provincial court judge sentenced a man she called a predator to 44 months in jail on May 26.

Anthony Paul McDonald assaulted, tied up and robbed a gay man he met through a chat line on August 23, 2009.

He was charged with robbery, possession of stolen property over $5,000, two counts of possession and or use of a stolen credit card, unlawful confinement or imprisonment, uttering threats and theft over $5,000.

He pleaded guilty to unlawful confinement, robbery and theft of an automobile. The other charges were stayed.

The sentence comes on top of the 14 months McDonald already served while awaiting sentencing. It also includes concurrent time for drug charges from an arrest in Orillia, Ontario, in 2008.

Judge Elisabeth Burgess quoted prosecutor David McCormick as saying the Vancouver incident was “predatory, planned and premeditated and committed against a man who was vulnerable in his own home.”

“I agree with this characterization,” the judge ruled.

Prosecutors asked for a four-to-six year total sentence.

McCormick told Burgess the 54-year-old victim had placed an ad on a phone sex line to have sex with a man.

The victim, whose identity is banned from publication, received a response from a man calling himself “Tony.”

“This male was Mr MacDonald who was using the name Tony,” McCormick said.

The victim arranged to meet McDonald at the Nanaimo SkyTrain Station. When he got in the car, McDonald used his sleeves on the handles inside and out, McCormick said.

Burgess found McDonald was “trying to cover his hands when he held the door handles so there wouldn’t be fingerprints.”

On the way to the victim’s home, McCormick said, McDonald asked if the man had a dog, if he owned his home, what his mortgage was and the maximums on his credit cards.

Once at the home, McCormick said, McDonald suggested the pair go into the bedroom.

“Mr McDonald sucker punched him in the left side of the face, which caused him to fall to the floor,” McCormick said.

Calling the victim weaker than McDonald and vulnerable, McCormick described how the accused then got the man to help find torn bed sheets and a tensor bandage to tie him to a chair.

McDonald then smashed the phone against the wall and further bound the man with the cord.

McDonald then demanded the PIN numbers for the victim’s bankcards and took his wallet and keys.

Before he left, McDonald told the victim he would be back “and not to try anything or he would beat his head in,” Burgess said in her ruling.

McDonald then took the victim’s 2002 Hyundai vehicle from the building’s parking garage.

Waiting to make sure McDonald was gone, the victim began calling for help. A neighbour responded and called police.

Burgess noted the victim was not apparently injured except for marks from his restraints and the punch.

Several hours later, a police cruiser spotted the car in a loading bay in the 500 block of East Cordova.

McCormick said officers saw a known drug dealer approaching the vehicle and intervened. McDonald was on the passenger side; a woman was in the driver’s seat.

In sentencing McDonald, Burgess noted a lengthy criminal record, including three break and enters, five assaults, including one causing bodily harm, and a robbery with a firearm.

She said the drug offence occurred immediately after McDonald was released from jail. He was remanded from January to October 2008 on that charge and released on bail to go to rehab for drug addiction.

She said past sentences did not seem to have had a deterrent or rehabilitative effect on McDonald.

Asked by Burgess if he had anything to say, McDonald expressed remorse for his crimes.

“I’d like to apologize for my actions,” he told the court. “This isn’t a joke to me. I find it very serious. I want to clean it up. I’m not running anymore.”

Burgess noted the presence of McDonald’s mother in the courtroom as a show of support for her son.

“Being a mother’s not always an easy job,” Burgess said.

His mother, who would not give her name, hopes her son can receive the help he needs for his addiction.

“It’s the devil,” she said.

She told Xtra in April that many of McDonald’s problems began over a woman in Ontario.

“She was totally a bad girl,” his mother said. “She was doing crack.”

McDonald’s lawyer, Mayland McKimm, says his client is “anxious to be rehabilitated.”

McKimm says it was always McDonald’s intention to plead guilty.

Burgess noted it took a long time to receive documents from Ontario to proceed.

McDonald also faced charges from Victoria for forcible confinement, uttering threats and assault relating to an incident from Aug 17, 2000, court records show.

McKimm says McDonald pleaded guilty earlier this year to assault causing bodily harm and a breach of probation in that case and received four months from Judge Mike Hubbard.