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Saga of a smashed window

Large break, little compensation

Richard Cormier, in a 2010 file photo. Credit: Neil McKinnon

A Bank St sex shop operator feels “insulted” after receiving restitution for having his window smashed.

Rob Giacobbi, owner of Wilde’s, received $250 and a letter from Legal Aid after having his display window smashed by Richard Cormier, 54, last summer. Giacobbi says the amount covers only 10 percent of the damages to his store. He tried contacting the Legal Aid office and played phone tag until giving up.

“I tried to call Legal Aid. A message came back from during when I was closed. I left another message and no one got back to me. It felt like I was flogging a dead horse. I thought, What’s the point if I’m not going to get my call returned?” he says.

Giacobbi received the letter three weeks prior to contacting Xtra. He says he was nervous to open it, and so he left it until he felt he was ready. When he opened it, he saw two $125 money orders. He was floored when he read a neatly typed letter from Legal Aid explaining it would be “full and final restitution for damage caused to your property Aug 13, 2010,” and “I trust this is satisfactory.”

“I’m more insulted by the letter from Legal Aid than the window smashed. Nobody told me the court dates were going through. I just want to know how this was pulled out of a hat. I don’t know how getting $250 is supposed to be satisfactory,” Giacobbi says.

Cormier, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder related to childhood abuse, cannot work and is on a government disability pension. After paying the $250, he says, he had to eat at local soup kitchens for most of two months because he could not afford proper food. He says asking him for more restitution would be like “taking blood from a stone.”