Maple Ridge man who shot at police spared long prison term

Judge sees hope for Shawn Gillam

Shawn Gillam

The hope of rehabilitation spared a Maple Ridge man convicted of shooting at a police officer a lengthy prison term.

Judge Anthony Spence agreed with a joint submission by Crown and defence for a six-year sentence, but noted a longer stint in jail would have been more appropriate given Shawn Bradley Gillam’s criminal record.

Ridge Meadows RCMP described him in a 2008 press release as a “dangerous offender.”

“I don’t think all is lost on you, particularly if you turn to the support of the community that is there,” Spence said while imposing the sentence Wednesday in Port Coquitlam Provincial Court.

“A lot of the young men that come before me don’t have that family support.”

Credited with double time for the 25 and a half months he has spent in custody, Gillam, 28, will spend an additional 21 months in prison.

His parents and grandmother wrote letters to the judge assuring their support on his release and were in court when the sentence was handed down.

Following a trial, Gillam was convicted in 2010 of firing at a police office during a pursuit through Maple Ridge on June 30, 2008.

He also sentenced on two separate files for which he entered guilty pleas on Wednesday, including a gas station robbery committed using a fake gun in September 2008, as well as possessing a switch blade and a flap of heroin.

Gillam’s lawyer, Jordan Allingham, described his client as “an articulate, intelligent young man” whose troubles began when he started hanging out with the wrong crowd at age 17.

“He started using cocaine and oxycodone … his record is a result of this,” Allingham told the court.

“He is no longer associated with that peer group.”

Many of Gillam’s friends, who were involved in the drug trade, have since died or have been murdered.

“He is motivated to lead a better life,” Allingham added.

The court also imposed a lifetime firearms ban on Gillam.

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