Magistrate Her Honour, Karen Noel has imposed a three-year sentence on two St. George’s men despite their appeal to the court to keep them away from the walls of the Richmond Hill Prisons.
Michael Bernard of Mon Toute, and Dickson Lewis of Cherry Hill were found guilty by Magistrate Noel of stealing from the person at the St. George’s Number two Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
Both Bernard and Lewis robbed Jason Brathwaite with the use of a knife at his home on St. Jules Street, St. George’s on March 31. They reportedly took away $45.00 in cash, a gold ring and a cellular phone.
The evidence coming out of the trial indicated that Lewis stuck a knife to Brathwaite’s throat while the robbery was in progress.
Bernard who was the first to address the court before sentence was handed down by the Magistrate made a strong appeal for a non-custodial sentence to be imposed on him.
The convicted man told the court that prison life is not helping him and that he needs an opportunity to make a life for himself.
The 44-year old man pleaded with the sitting Magistrate for counseling to be given for him, as sending him to prison will not solve the problem.
He claimed that his two sisters, one of whom is residing in New York have given him the assurance that they will get him to start a small business.
“If I am given a chance, you wouldn’t find me doing these things again,” he told Magistrate Noel.
The convicted man who was released from prison last December spoke of the over-crowdedness and the violence that takes place there.
He informed the court that his life is in danger inside the prison because if someone just rushes another inmate, that can result in a confrontation.
Bernard also spoke of being associated with the complainant and that he is a non-violent person.
He claimed that Brathwaite owed him “for certain things.”
In his own mitigation, Lewis appealed to Magistrate Noel to place him on a bond.
Brathwaite who is the complainant in the matter vehemently denied being associated with Bernard and Lewis, and that he buys nothing from them.
He accused them of having no respect for the law and for people.
Brathwaite also told the court that Bernard and Lewis have a record of disturbing many people’s lives including the elderly ones throughout the Town of St. George.
He said if the men do not get money from where they go to rob they would take away whatever else they can lay their hands on.
However, Police Prosecutor Corporal Terrence Andall informed the court that both convicted men have a variety of convictions.
Cpl Andall disclosed that Bernard has all forms of stealing against his name with the last conviction being in January 2012.
The Police Prosecutor said Bernard is a person who is very frequent in and out of prison.
He spoke of the State in the past trying everything possible including community work to get Bernard to reform his life, and it has reached to a point where, due to his delinquent behaviour, all attempts have been exhausted.
Cpl. Andall indicated that Bernard and Lewis together planned and executed the crime.
He told the court that the convicted men were first charged with robbery with violence, but it was later reduced to stealing from the person.
Police Investigator, Detective Constable Clifford Charles who was also called upon to address the court believed that sentencing the convicted men to prison will do well for the nation.
Constable Charles said he has only been attached to the Criminal Investigation Department for just over one year and has had to deal with Bernard on several occasions for numerous housebreaking reports.
He said it is the first time he has dealt with the other convict, Lewis, but is aware that other Detectives had had to deal with him.
Detective Charles told Magistrate Noel it will be a great relief for law enforcement Officers to get them off the streets.
Bernard and Lewis could have been sentenced to a maximum fine of $15,000.00 and/or five years in prison.