NEWS

Halifax airport abductor sentenced to 8 years

04/15/2013 03:11 EDT | Updated 06/15/2013 05:12 EDT
A man who abducted a woman at Halifax Stanfield International Airport in 2009 has been sentenced for the kidnapping.

Ross Nelson Garland, 54, was declared a long term offender. On Monday he was sentenced to eight years, with four years credit for his time in custody since his arrest.

Once he’s released, Garland will spend another eight years under close supervision in the community.

Dorette Pronk told police she was approached by a man in the parking garage at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport on Sept. 16, 2009, after she dropped off a passenger who was catching a flight.

She said the man told her he had a gun and ordered her to drive at a high speed to Truro, making her stop along the way to withdraw money from several bank machines.

“He said, ‘I have a gun.’ And he held something against my chest. ‘I have a gun. Go,’” Pronk told CBC News in a 2009 interview.

“I don't really want to help him. But I do want to live. So, I guess I'm driving.”

"He was saying that he'd blow both of us up," she said. "At that moment, how do you verify things?"

About two hours later, she said he told her to stop the car and get out. When he tried to force her into the trunk, she screamed, ran away to a nearby home, and contacted police.

“I ran. I just, I screamed and I ran,” she said. "I still don't know what happened to him and why he didn't come after me, or whether he did."

Pronk found safety in a nearby house. Garland took her car, then switched to a cab. He was arrested in Moncton the next day.

Garland pleaded guilty to robbery and unlawful confinement. But changes in lawyers and questions of mental fitness dragged the case out until this month.

He had 11 prior criminal convictions for such things as fraud, theft, aggravated assault, escaping lawful custody and impaired driving.

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