Chief Magistrate Tamara Gill has reserved sentencing to April 4 on Leroy Andrew on two charges of fraud, and one of impersonating a Police Officer.
Andrew who is a Mechanic from Duquesne, St. Mark’s pleaded guilty Tuesday to the charges when the matter came up before the No.1 St. George’s Magistrate’s Court.
The offenses were allegedly committed between July and December 2015.
However, the 48-year old Andrew’s guilty plea was not without strong arguments put forward to the court by both Police Prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Godfrey Victor, and attorney-at-law, Peter David.
Andrew who claimed to be a Sergeant of Police is accused of collecting money from a number of people who were seeking to obtain a driver license, and from others wanting to have their licenses upgraded to a “G” status.
Attorney David informed the court that his client was not alone in the commission of the offences, but accepted responsibility and is asking for mercy.
He charged that some of the people involved in the scam were police officers.
The Defense Attorney emphasised that his client could only have committed the offences with assistance coming from inside of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF).
He spoke of there being people on both side who wanted to violate the law.
In defense, ASP Victor indicated that Andrew’s plan to engage in the scam was well calculated.
The court was told that police investigators were able to confiscate 76 passport pictures from Andrew.
Chief Magistrate Gill was baffled as to why a person would seek to obtain a driver’s license illegally and told the court that she would not be awarding compensation to the affected persons.
In response, ASP Victor said the average man “would not think as how we think,” and that predators would use the most vulnerable people as their target.
But attorney David retorted by saying the people who fall into the trap are those “who want to beat the system.”
Andrew who was given the opportunity to address the court admitted to having collected $1,800 from one of his victims for a license which he did not produce.
However, he maintained that it was not him alone involved in the license scam.
The court was presented with a listing of Andrew’s previous convictions which dates back to 1987.
The accused has 18 previous convictions, nine of which are for similar offences.
Convictions were handed down against him in 1987, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2010, 2011 and 2014.
Among the convictions were for obtaining money by false pretense, threatening language, and fraud by false pretense.
His last known offence was committed in March 2014 and he received a six-month prison sentence.
David told the court that his client has pleaded guilty and is entitled to a discount on the prison sentence to be handed down.
Andrew has also been slapped with three additional charges of fraud by false pretense – two of the charges will be heard at the Gouyave Magistrate’s Court, and the other at St. David’s Magistrate’s Court.
The maximum prison sentence for each count is five years.