A Saanich Police clip of a male they believe is the suspect in a sexual assault and robbery on the 1500-block of Church Ave. on Jan. 27, 2016. Screenshot

A Saanich Police clip of a male they believe is the suspect in a sexual assault and robbery on the 1500-block of Church Ave. on Jan. 27, 2016. Screenshot

Eight-year sentence in Victoria sex assault and confinement of Chinese exchange students

A man who entered the Victoria home of two women nearly two years ago, confined them, assaulted them and forced them to give him money has been sentenced to eight years in jail

Career criminal David Robert Hope, who was found guilty on seven counts for the break and enter, sex assault, robbery and forcible confinement of two women on Jan. 27 of 2016, was sentenced this week in Victoria court.

The incident started at about 7:20 p.m. on a Wednesday night when the accused banged at the ground-floor patio door of an apartment at 1514 Church Ave. (about one block from Shelbourne Street). Two Chinese exchange students, both women, were home and opened the door for the accused.

Hope forced them to undress and molested one. At that point they offered money, to which Hope permitted them to dress and escorted them to a bank machine. They withdrew money for him and then fled, calling 911 from a Starbucks. Hope was arrested two months later in Saskatoon by a joint team of Saanich and Saskatoon police officers.

Two weeks ago Hope was found guilty by jury on one count of break and enter to commit an indictable offence, two counts of unlawful confinement or imprisonment, two counts of sexual assault and two counts of robbery. He was given six years for each of the subsequent counts, to be served concurrently with the eight year break and enter charge.

The latest convictions are the 45th, 46th, 47th, 48th, 49th, 50th and 51st in Hope’s criminal history. Hope recently served time for a 2014 robbery in Vancouver in which he took a women’s purse.

During this trial Hope never took responsibility for the crime. He did claim remorse for previous crimes, which he made at the end of the trial, but those were not considered as a mitigating factor, said Justice Jennifer Power.

“It is particularly aggravating that Mr. hope has a lengthy criminal record. He was released on the offence of robbery just shortly before [these offences],” Power said. “I am of the view that mr. hope has shown a remarkable lack of insight into his own risk factors and offending pattern. The length and breadth of Mr. Hope’s criminal history combined with escalating offending pattern creates a real concern, in my view, for public safety.

With an adjusted amount of nearly three years already served in custody, that leaves Hope with an additional five years to be served at a federal insitution. Hope will also serve a lifetime prohibition from firearms or anything that resembles a weapon or firearm, as well as, ammunition, or a crossbow, etc.

The biggest suprise of the trial came when witness Jean Nadeau, who is an inmate at the Matsqui federal medium-security prison for a 2016 sex assault in Esquimalt, claimed responsibility for the crime. Nadeau met Hope when both awaited trials at the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre (Wilkinson jail) in Saanich.

Crown counsel Patrick Weir’s cross examination cast doubt on Nadeau’s claim, a situation that took Weir by surprise.

“I’ve never had it happen in career, it’s very unusual that it happen for lots of reasons,” Weir said. “The defence doesn’t have to advise crown of the witnesses in advance, so I found out there was someone claiming to [have done] this offence the same time as everyone else. That person is still serving sentence, whether or not there are further repercussions for him is out of my hands.”