Michael Cooper-Flaherty has been sentenced to just over three years in prison for his Feb. 22 armed robbery of the KFC Quickstop in Iqaluit.
He was brandishing a knife and wearing a face mask on the day he committed the crime, and he made off with close to $2,000. It was a facial tattoo that helped reveal his identity.
Judge Paul Bychok handed down the sentence on Dec. 17, also ordering that Cooper-Flaherty, 24, be prohibited from possessing any firearms or other varieties of weapons for the rest of his life.
Due to credit for time served during the legal process, the offender has just over two years remaining to spend in a federal penitentiary.
A psychologist determined that he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, persistent depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder as well as substance abuse disorder, specifically for marijuana and cocaine.
Bychok noted that Cooper-Flaherty was previously sentenced in 2017 after being convicted of five counts of robbery in Iqaluit while he was 18 years old. At that time, the offender made a commitment to the court to straighten out his life:
“I know you’ve heard this many times before, but when the day comes and I’m released from here, I’m going to do everything I can to make sure I never have to come back to jail,” Cooper-Flaherty told the court in 2017. “This is not the kind of life I want to live anymore. I don’t want to waste another day of my life doing nothing and being miserable and angry when I could be doing so many good things for myself. Trust me, after today I’ll try my best to never come back into these court rooms again. I promise you that.”
Despite those words, “Yet here we are,” Bychok said of the recurring crime.
“This repeat offender is still a young adult with most of his life ahead of him,” the judge stated. “He will return again to the community after he completes his sentence. This sentence must, therefore, attempt to provide him with the tools and supervision to help with his rehabilitation… If he does not make a sincere effort this time to confront and understand his demons and change his lifestyle, the odds are great that he will reoffend.”
Cooper-Flaherty will be placed on probation for two years following his release from prison. During that time, he will be obligated to take any counselling or treatment as directed by his probation officer, including mental health, substance abuse and Elder counselling.