LONDON, ONT. -- Justice Kevin McHugh held little back when sentencing Haris Masic, 35, of London to 16 years in prison.

He stated that other than a couple of murder cases, “this series of crimes represents the most egregious behaviour that I have encountered in my more than 35 years in our criminal courts in this province.”

In an agreed statement of facts, the court heard that starting in December of 2017 for about four months Masic was an armed man on the loose.

McHugh said he would approach perfect strangers with no regard for their well-being. He was involved in a break-in, home invasion and carjackings at gunpoint. The judge told the court that the victims were threatened and shot at, adding, “I have no doubt these horrific and terrorizing ordeals will stay with (the victims) forever.”

Originally charged with about 40 counts, Masic was found guilty of three counts of robbery, discharging a firearm with intent to wound and more than a dozen weapons offenses.

The proceedings were held through Zoom and as McHugh handed down his sentence, Masic could be seen in a holding cell at the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre showing little or no emotion.

Before wrapping up the judge said, “the safety of the public must be the ultimate goal.”

With credit for time already served, Masic has about 11.5 years left on his sentence.