The man who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a violent break and enter and theft, that left an elderly couple seriously injured, learned his fate in a Wetaskiwin courtroom Thursday.

Joshua Piche, 28, was sentenced Thursday to nine years behind bars – with credit for time served, he will serve another 7 and a half years.

Piche was charged after the home where Dawne and Marion Gilchrist lived in in Wetaskiwin was broken into, the couple was attacked, and their vehicle was stolen on May 21, 2013.

In early March, Piche pleaded guilty to the charges.

Court heard Piche was intoxicated when he crashed his own vehicle, before breaking into the Gilchrist’s home, beating and seriously injuring the couple, before stealing their vehicle.

Justice Bart Rosborough said in court Thursday that the couple’s current living situation – separated, because injuries suffered by Dawne, who was 86-years-old, left him in a wheelchair and with brain damage, and unable to care for his wife, who has dementia, and is now living in a secure mental ward – were a factor in his decision.

“The injuries suffered by those victims were significant and long-lasting,” Rosborough said.

The forced separation has affected the couple’s entire family – they had lived together for 62 years before the attack.

“My parents are going to be the way they are for the rest of their lives now,” Bill Gilchrist, the couple’s son, said outside of court. “My dad’s in a wheelchair, mom is in a secure dementia ward.

“It’s affected our whole family; it’s something we have to live with.”

Piche’s mother said she believes her son accepted the sentence, and took responsibility for what had happened.

“But there’s also, I mean, he goes to jail, I’m also the victim, we’re all victims,” Veronica Piche said.

The judge also said Piche’s guilty plea was a mitigating factor in his sentence.

Piche’s sentence also includes a lifetime weapons ban.

With files from Bill Fortier