Kensington robber gets 31 years while he and victims share tears
A Windsor-Terrace and Kensington-area man who robbed a string of women at gunpoint apologized through tears to his sobbing victims on Wednesday in Brooklyn Supreme Court as he was sentenced to 31 years in prison.
“It’s important to me to apologize to each and every one of you,” Justin Farrow said while looking back at a courtroom half-filled with his victims. “I don’t believe it’s right to prey on innocent women.”
After being found guilty to four robberies, an assault and weapon possession on May 25 following a three-week trial, Farrow was faced with his victims at sentencing as they told him that he robbed them of their fundamental rights.
“I’ve lost trust and comfort in the blocks of Windsor-Terrace,” Julie Tupper, who was held up by Farrow, said in court. “I lost my freedom.”
“I don’t feel safe anywhere,” said Rebecca Maldonado, another victim, who moved to California since she was robbed.
Each of the four women walked away from the stand with a redder face than when they began their statements.
Another victim, Elizabeth Gardiner, took pauses to speak between her sentences.
“I only met Mr. Farrow for less than a minute, and that minute changed me fundamentally,” said Gardiner who was visibly shaking while she spoke. “I never want to see him again.”
Farrow sat calm as he listened to the women pour their emotions out, until he decided to address them each individually.
“I’m ashamed to say … I am guilty of the charges,” he said. “I couldn’t be more sorry.”
By the end of his apology, he lost his words and the only audible sounds from the courtroom were sobs from Farrow and his victims.
Justice Deborah Dowling said his apologies were not enough.
“No one should be able to take away your individual freedom,” she said, suggesting therapy for Farrow so he can re-enter society after his sentence.
Farrow’s lawyer Laurence Rothstein said his client’s behavior was out of context with the rest of his life, citing Farrow’s military service and clean criminal record.
“My grandmother passed away in 2013 and I’m glad she’s not here today because she would be disgusted to see me in the position I am in now,” Farrow said while he addressed his victims.
Rothstein said Farrow was working as a security guard after he was discharged from the military and he eventually had a mental breakdown during the two-week span of the August 2015 robberies.
Farrow stuck up his first victim around 2 a.m. at Caton Avenue and East Seventh Street, making off with $60, jewelry and a cellphone, according to court documents. After the trial, prosecutors admitted that he called her ‘ma’am’ while robbing his first victim.
He then pulled a gun on another woman leaving the Fort Hamilton F-train station around midnight three days later, taking $45, her cellphone and a gift card.
Four days later, Farrow robbed a woman at Ocean Parkway and Caton Avenue and took her cellphone and $25. Farrow was acquitted of another alleged robbery that happened 20 minutes after this one.
He held his gun to his last victim at East 19th Street and Seeley Avenue and stole her cellphone.
Farrow was arrested on Sept. 4, 2015 and found with the stolen property and a gun.
The apologetic man, who now faces three decades behind bars, declined a 10-year plea negotiation before going to trial because according to Rothstein, Farrow couldn’t face the idea of spending 10 years in prison.
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