South Okanagan prolific offender with arsenal of weapons facing years more in jail

'Arsenal' leads to jail time

A South Okanagan prolific offender will spend three more years behind bars after breaching his weapons-related conditions by stashing what a judge called an "arsenal."

Sean Garrett Duffy, born in 1985, appeared in Penticton court on Friday, Nov. 24 to learn his sentence.

Court heard that on Oct. 14, 2021, he had been caught driving with a fake plate, and he did not have a drivers license.

He was found with a taser in his car that he tried to claim was a flashlight, and a pellet gun designed to look like a real handgun tucked into his waistband.

Duffy was also accused of a previous assault that saw him punching his neighbour in the face, ostensibly for reading a sign Duffy had posted on his door with anti-vaccination information.

Duffy already had a lifetime ban against possessing firearms or ammunition.

Then, on Feb. 18, 2022, RCMP were called early in the afternoon to Duffy’s apartment building after a tenant reported he had been walking around the parking lot with a pistol and a shotgun the night before.

RCMP confirmed this from CCTV footage, which showed Duffy pointing a firearm with a laser sight at parked cars.

Duffy was later intercepted on his way to dinner, and found to be wearing full-body armour, underneath which was a loaded .22 calibre pistol, and in a soft guitar case in the car was a loaded sawed-off shotgun.

The vehicle also contained multiple boxes of ammunition.

Duffy was taken into custody, and police searched his apartment the next day, locating many more weapons and ammunition including a switchblade, throwing knives, brass knuckles and “tiger claws,” which are gloves with sharp spikes attached.

“There’s no question to my mind that this was an arsenal,” the judge said.

Duffy pleaded guilty and has spent time out on bail awaiting sentencing. Pre-sentence reports indicate that Duffy had previously struggled on and off with drug abuse that contributed to paranoia and psychosis incidents, but that he now seems “quite remorseful.”

Duffy has been living in a recovery facility and made “great improvement,” kicking his addiction and finding a job with that living facility due to his progress.

“I do also take note that Mr. Duffy told me himself that he finally feels he has made solid contact while in this facility … that he feels he is accountable and the people there make him accountable for his actions,” the judge said.

“He wishes to carry on this path and to help others.”

That said, the judge noted how serious his firearms offence is.

“All of these circumstances when taken together tend to indicate a person who poses a considerable risk to the public,” the judge said.

“He was carrying weapons apparently anticipating problems. One carries weapons because one is willing to use them, and that is what creates the danger.”

Duffy will spend 1,198 more days — roughly 39 months or 3.3 years — behind bars for his offences.

His previous offences include impaired driving causing bodily harm and aggravated assault.

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