The Vincentian-Canadian who racked up EC$15,494.22 in lodging and food bills at a hotel in St. Vincent does not have to worry about his meals and lodging for the next seven months.
In fact, Allie Franklyn-Providence can choose to live and eat free for an additional six months at Her Majesty’s Prison by simply refusing to pay the hotel bill when he is released after his initial seven months of incarceration.
On March 26, Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias found Franklyn-Providence guilty of a charge that between Sept. 29 and Nov. 4, 2017, at Villa, with intent to make permanent default on part of an existing liability to make payment of EC$15,494.22, he dishonestly induced Crystal Andrews of Villa to wait for payment.
The man racked up the bill in room and tax charges as well as 60 visits to the restaurant at Mariners Inn.
The sentencing was initially scheduled for March 28, but was adjourned twice as prosecutors awaited a response from Interpol on whether Franklyn-Providence had a criminal record in another jurisdiction.
However, at Tuesday’s hearing, Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche told the court that the Crown was no longer pursuing the Interpol line.
The prosecutor called the Interpol contact in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who explained the process of acquiring the information, and told the court that the process does not take 48 hours, as Franklyn-Providence had claimed.
In his representation on sentencing, Delplesche told the court that the maximum sentence for Franklyn-Providence’s crime was two years in prison.
He said there is precedence in the jurisdiction in that compensation was ordered and the convicted person had to surrender their travel documents to police and was given time to pay.
Asked what he had to say about before being sentenced, Franklyn-Providence, who defended himself after his lawyer withdrew from the case two months before the trial began, said he had “nothing to say”.
At the last adjournment when sentencing was supposed to have taken place, the man had objected strenuously, telling the court that he was not responsible for the Crown’s incompetence in securing a response from Interpol in a timely manner.
In handing down sentence, the chief magistrate said she had considered precedence, the statutory guidelines and the objectives of sentencing.
She noted that Franklyn-Providence had exercised his right to a full trial and had, thereby, forfeited any discount in the sentence, to which he would have been entitled had he pleaded guilty.
Browne-Matthias, however, noted that the man had no criminal record before the court.
When he is released from prison after serving the seven-month sentence, Franklyn will have to surrender his travel documents and report to the Central Police Station every Friday between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
He has until April 19, 2019 to pay the hotel EC$15,494.22 or spend a further six months in jail.