(THUNDER BAY, ON) – Derek McKay, needlepoint robber pleads guilty.

Crown Attorney, Andrew Sadler is in court today, fighting for the people. Labine is here, representing the best interests of a convicted criminal.
Below is the Thunder Bay Police Service media release regarding the needle-point robbery which took place at Safeway on Dawson Road on August 21st.


Thunder Bay Police Service officers were dispatched to the 1000 block of Dawson Road following reports of grocery store staff receiving threats by a man with a needle at about 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 21.
As the result of an ongoing investigation, officers learned a male and female had entered the Safeway grocery store and took a quantity of beer. The accused male and female attempted to leave the store without paying for the items.
A store employee attempted to confront the couple, and requested the items be returned.
The accused male and female became aggressive with staff. The accused male then brandished a needle and made threats to the staff.
Officers arrived to the scene while the accused male and female were still present and placed them under arrest.
Sarah-Jane Brittany QUISSES, 25, of Thunder Bay, and Derek Elias Philip MCKAY, 36, of Thunder Bay, are both charged with Robbery.
Both appeared in bail court Thursday. QUISSES was released with a future appearance date, while MCKAY was remanded into custody with a future appearance date.

And below is our initial report on the incident, as informed by people who were on scene.

We have received reports about yet another robbery in the city, this time at needle point.
A number of REAL Concerned Citizens have told us that the Safeway on Dawson was the location of a needle point robbery in which the suspect made off with some beer.
The male suspect pulled out a needle and pointed it at a male employee. Shortly after, the suspect pointed the needle at a female employee as he was leaving the store with stolen beer in hand.
A 911 call was made and police arrived on scene immediately. Employees and customers that witnessed the incident were interviewed.
We are not certain and have not been able to confirm if police have made an arrest in connection with this incident.
This is a developing story and we are working hard to keep you up to date with the latest information as we gather it.
Anyone with more information or photos of this incident are asked to reach out to us via Facebook message, text message to 807-355-8917 or email at

Today, Labine requests that only the facts regarding the breach of bail conditions be read into the record and that the robbery charge be done another day.

The agreed statement of facts indicates that on August 29th, days after McKay was released from jail he was located near the intersection of May and Donald, under the influence of alcohol. Officers picked him up and offered him a ride home. They went to two addresses where he was not able to gain access to. Officers took him down to the police station (Hotel Balmoral), and charged him with breaching conditions after they conducted a CPIC check. The CPIC check determined that he was under bail conditions not to be consuming alcohol outside of his home.


Labine tells the courts that McKay has not only an opiate addiction but also alcohol issues. He further says that his client is on ODSP and has a damaged liver from alcohol abuse.

Sadler recommends that McKay gets time served for his breach of bail charge, which is 20 real days served. That is basically automatically enhanced to 30 days served due to the deplorable conditions at the Thunder Bay District Jail (A.K.A. “The Algoma Bed & Breakfast”). McKay’s DNA is also requested to be put in the DNA database.

Labine schedules McKay to return to court to handle the robbery charge in early December. Labine indicates that is the next time he has time in his schedule to deal with the matter. This seemed interesting to me. It is a well-known tactic of some lawyers to postpone sentencing as long as possible in order to rack up the basically 1.5x of enhanced custody time due to the conditions at the Thunder Bay District Jail. It will be interesting if Labine finds time for other clients during this time.

McKay is sent back to the Thunder Bay District Jail to continue serving presentence custody before being sentenced for the robbery.


2 Replies to “Needle Point Robber Pleads Guilty”

  1. Your articles are good and I read them daily, but you are a bit misleading with some wording in this article. The 1.5 factor is law and not just due to the conditions at the Thunder Bay Jail.

    1. it is not law. please cite which law you believe it to be. I sit in court and hear it all the time how the presentence custodial time is enhanced to 1.5x due to the deplorable conditions.

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