Pistol-whipped, robbed during home invasion, former friend of accused tells court – Newfoundland & Labrador

He was taken in a car by three masked men holding knives and a gun, but when the chance came to get a look at who they were, Michael Crant says he looked down.

“I didn’t want to see their face so I looked the other way,” said Crant Tuesday, testifying at a St. John’s trial via video from an undisclosed location outside the province.

“I just didn’t want to know what they looked like for my own safety.”

Crant was the latest witness for the Crown in what has become a bizarre and shocking trial involving allegations of four home invasions on Newfoundland’s northeast Avalon Peninsula in February 2017. 

Abdifatah Mohamed, 28, Tyler Donahue, 24, Gary Hennessey, 33, and Mitchell Nippard, 26, are facing 53 charges. 

Mohamed is representing himself and gets to cross-examine witnesses.

‘They wanted money’

Michael Crant’s parents, Ivan and Daphne Crant, have already testified at provincial court about a frightening ordeal on Feb. 8, 2017, when three masked men barged into their property, tied them up and robbed them.

Their son told the court that earlier in the day, his former “good friend,” Mitchell Nippard, and Gary Hennessey were in the family’s shed along with other friends. 

He said the pair left about half an hour to an hour before the masked intrusion began — a point Crant had previously excluded from his two police statements last February.

The masked intruders entered the shed and ordered the men to lie face down on the floor. They bound their wrists with plastic ties and covered their mouths with tape, Crant said.

“They beat me a couple times with the pistol,” Crant said, adding he was bleeding from the crown of his head.

Two of the men — one wearing a clown’s mask and the other a…

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