Valley Shaun Harrison, 25, was recently sentenced to three years and six months’ in jail without the possibility of parole for two violent robberies he committed in 2017 and 2018 as well as violating the terms of his original release. According to the police report, during one robbery, Harrison tried to demean a male victim by instructing him to put on a lace dress. The victim refused multiple times, which Harrison said ‘he respected’ during his hearing.
Harrison was originally released from jail in October 2017. He proceeded to move residences in January 2018 without notifying his probation officer. Then, on February 11, 2018, he went to his cousin’s home and kicked open multiple doors before finding another man inside. Harrison attacked this individual, kicking and punching him, then putting his arm over his throat and threatening to kill him.
At that point, the victim stopped fighting back, and Harrison told him to sit, pushed him against the wall with his foot on his head, and demanded he put on the dress. The man refused more than once, and eventually, Harrison gave up the request, asking him instead to grab a pillowcase so he could fill it with electronics. He filmed the remainder of the incident on the man’s phone.
Prior to this, Harrison had allegedly driven to a park one evening and pulled his vehicle alongside another. He got out, opened the driver’s door, and demanded he step away from the car. He proceeded to punch the man several times in the face and threatened to kill him while the other passengers fled. Harrison then took a backpack containing clothing, a camera, and the man’s cellphone.
The court estimated that Harrison was able to steal about $3000 worth of goods from both robberies and called his actions “completely gratuitous” and “demeaning.” Despite his young age, Harrison already had a lengthy criminal history including convictions for aggravated robbery, demanding with menace, assault, breaching protection orders, and violent offending dealt with by the Youth Court. This time, he was warned if his violent behavior continues, he could be sentenced to preventive detention, an open-ended jail term.
In 2012, Harrison was convicted on two charges of aggravated robbery for ‘‘street thuggery,’’ as well as charges of theft of a motor vehicle, unlawfully getting on a scooter, youth drunk-driving, driving on a suspended license, and assaulting a female. He indicated at the time he was trying to make “a name for himself” on the streets. He also said, however, he ‘‘felt bad for his victims and wanted to say sorry.”
Harrison’s partner at the time said she was trying to turn him around. ‘‘You have not had the easiest starts in life but there are a lot of people around who have had a similar upbringing and have not resorted to crimes as you have,’’ she said at his hearing. His mother asked to give him a hug before sentencing.
Harrison’s driver’s license was revoked for six months after this initial run-in and he was ordered to pay $1800 in fines. Evidently, this wasn’t enough to keep him off the streets.