Feroz Buksh of Surrey, B.C., pleaded guilty in provincial court to one count each of robbery and use of an imitation firearm.
Court heard Buksh, 44, walked into a store in Kamloops on Sept. 19 and asked the clerk for some hot food and 10 packs of cigarettes.
He tried to pay for the items with a pre-paid Visa card, but the transaction was not approved.
“He then opened up his shirt and said, ‘Give me the money in the till. I have a gun and I’m not afraid to use it,’” Crown lawyer Chris Balison told court.
“Then he began to cry. He said he was going to use the money to pay for his bills and that he was in the process of a divorce.”
Balison said Buksh took the money and put the cigarettes and food into a bag.
“He ran out of the store and his bag actually broke,” Balison said.
“So, he was running out of the store with things falling from his bag, including the cigarettes.”
Buksh, who had no prior criminal record, was found by police a short time later, hiding in a closet at a home where he’d been staying.
The Crown wants Buksh, a Fiji native whose family came to Canada when he was 12, jailed for 18 months.
However, Judge Stephen Harrison asked lawyers to look into the impact such a sentence could have on Buksh’s status as a permanent Canadian resident.
“Sometimes, matters in criminal court can have a tremendous effect on someone who is merely a permanent resident,” Harrison said of the man who is not a Canadian citizen.
“It can have an impact on whether or not someone is removed from the country.”
Buksh, who is in custody, will be back in court on Jan. 8 to fix a date for sentencing. (Kamloops This Week)