A LOCAL DEFENCE attorney goes to great lengths to try and convince Canadian visitors that a violent robbery which they experienced is not a reflection of the Grenada brand.
Jerry Edwin was at the time representing Kenton Clarence, who pleaded guilty to three charges stemming from home invasions he committed in February, during which victims had suffered injuries.
Clarence invaded the Canadian couple’s home in Lance Aux, threatened them with a wooden stick and stole their cellphones, iPad and hundreds of dollars in cash.
The man suffered an injury to his finger while trying to fight off the intruder and his wife, whom Clarence stuffed into a closet was also injured.
Edwin, admitting that his client is a drug addict, told the visitors, through the Court, that, “This is not us”.
He said, “the police take this sort of thing very serious and our courts treat them with equal seriousness”.
He called the crimes, “a stain and a smear on our lovely island” and said his client was a menace.
The couple have been wintering in Grenada since 1965.
Clarence committed the spate of early morning home invasions in February, just weeks after being released from Richmond Hill Prison after serving a four year sentence.
One of the crimes was committed hours after police had curtailed surveillance on Clarence, whom they had under suspicion.
Edwin said he had no mitigating factors to offer in his client’s defense and that an apology for his client’s crime would not make up for what he had put them through.
Edwin asked for prison time for his client, telling the court, “My client needs an intervention at Her Majesty’s Prison”.
However Edwin was able to reach an agreement with the prosecution to reduce the charges to summary matters rather than seek to try his client in the High Court.
Clarence also pleaded guilty to entering the home of Godfrey Ventour and stealing a number of items, including wristwatches.
The third victim of the crime spree was a member of the St George’s University Campus. Clarence knocked on his door and pushed his way in brandishing a cutlass.
The man was injured while trying to fend him off and left the island for medical treatment. However police prosecutors told the Court he is reluctant to return to the jurisdiction because of fear for his safety.
Clarence was sentenced to twelve years and four months in jail for the three crimes but will be out in four since the terms were imposed concurrently.
Clarence told the court he is a drug addict and he committed the crimes to support his habit.
Magistrate Tamara Gill also ordered that he should receive counseling for substance abuse, during his time in prison.
The couple were also concerned that Clarence had managed to exit a four year prison sentence with a full blown drug habit.
Addressing the court Clarence apologized for his crimes against the couple, who were the only complainants present for the trial.
The prosecutor told the Court the Canadian couple was particularly traumatized by the attack because they recall the murder of Jessica Colker, an American woman who was killed in the Winter of 2016, while they too were on the island.
Chief Magistrate Tamara Gill described the crime as a “high end robbery”, which warranted being tried as an indictable offense.
The elderly Canadians, because of their ages are considered vulnerable complainants.
“This is in my view a crime against the country,” Gill said in her comments.