by Christine Kim
A judge last week sentenced a Korean man living in Canada to five years in jail for a home invasion robbery in 2008.
Gong Oui Choi, 22, received the mandatory minimum sentence for robbery and unlawful confinement after pleading guilty earlier this year. Choi, who has already spent a year in custody, will spend the next four years in a federal jail, according to North Shore News.
Choi was among a group of four men recruited by a gangster in December of 2008 to commit a home invasion at a house on Tempe Knoll Drive.
Crown counsel Kristin Bryson said Choi was convinced to get involved in the scheme by a friend, Yum Lim, also 22, who phoned Choi and asked him if he wanted to take part in something that would make him some money.
Choi and three other men gathered at the apartment of the recruiter, they were told the victim was a gambler who supposedly kept large sums of money in the house.
The recruiter handed the group weapons – including a handgun and a Taser – before the four set off for the home at about 3 a.m.
One man stayed behind in the car while three of them – including Choi – smashed the window of a sliding door and entered the home.
The sound of breaking glass woke up the occupants of the home – a husband and wife – who were downstairs sleeping in a basement suite. The couple tried to hide while the man called 9-1-1 and whispered information to a police dispatcher who immediately sent officers to the scene.
The robbers found the couple and tied them up and threatened to kill them if they didn’t hand over the money, according to North Shore News.
While that was going on, the phone line to the police dispatcher was left open, said Bryson, allowing the dispatch tape to record the sounds of a door being kicked in and the intruders issuing shouted threats.
Police arrived shortly thereafter and the men were arrested.
Choi confessed shortly after he was arrested and later told the court he was “truly sorry.”
“I made the biggest mistake of my life,” said Choi.
Because he is a Korean not Canadian citizen, Choi will most likely be deported upon being released.
Duck Joong Yoon, another participant of the crime, is on trial in British Columbia Supreme Court. Two others, though, are suspected of having fled back to Korea.