Judge Errol Thomas, left, and law officials at the opening of the New Law Year
Judge Errol Thomas, left, and law officials at the opening of the New Law Year

A 24-year burglar of Eggleston who stole jewellery, alcoholic drinks and various currencies totaling EC$51,771 from a dwelling house at Eggleston belonging to Marvlyn Robinson (since deceased) between August 2010 and April 2011 is now serving a prison term of two years and six months.

Clarence Lewis received the prison sentence from Justice Errol Thomas when he appeared at the Roseau high court on Wednesday March 11, 2015 to know his fate.

Lewis pleaded guilty to the first charge of burglary from a list of four charges filed by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions on February 9, 2015. The DPP withdrew the other charges of burglary and two of theft. The judge set sentencing for March 6 in the first instance pending a probationary report from the Welfare Division. Lawyer Darius Jones in mitigation on behalf of Lewis asked the court to take into consideration that most of the items were recovered based on information the prisoner gave the police. He was also on remand for a year and eight months, and again Jones asked the judge to consider that in favour of Lewis.

DPP Evelina Baptiste pointed out that Lewis had had bail for the charges in that matter but was on remand for another offence.

Jones ended by asking the court to temper justice with mercy.

While addressing the prisoner, Judge Thomas quoting from the probation report in which the officer reported that Lewis had attended high school and obtained nine CXCs before going to the State College. He had expressed remorse for his actions and accepted responsibility. He did not think he deserved a custodial sentence, and was described by family members and members of his community as a good individual. He had burglarized the house many times.

Looking at the aggravating and mitigating factors the judge pointed out that Lewis had responded to an advertisement for a gardener and was taken on. He worked for five months. Then in August he told his employer that he would not work. He then entered her premises.

Judge Thomas in looking at the principles of sentencing such as retribution, deterrence, reforming and protection of society on a whole said the principle of deterrence was applicable in the case of the prisoner and potential offenders. He got a job with ulterior motives, and breached the trust of the person who had employed him. The judge noted also that the prisoner had not pleaded guilty at the first opportunity. Judge Thomas first considered four years, but sentenced Lewis to prison for two years and six months with time on remand to be deducted.