Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett. (iWN file photo)

Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett, on Monday, questioned about the reason for his anger, a 19-year-old man who had damaged some of the contents of the holding cell at the Serious Offences Court.

Raheem DaSilva, a labourer of Lodge Village, was at the time being sentenced in relation to a charge that on Oct. 5, at Pauls Avenue, without lawful excuse, he damaged one concrete block bench, value EC$350 and one piece of corrugated steel, value EC$250, by smashing them with an unknown object.

The items, the property of the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, were in the holding cell at the Serious Offences Court.

“A 19-year-old boy like you — I’m calling you a boy because that’s how you look to me. Why are you so angry?” Burnett said.

“You almost mash up the court. What’s your problem?” the magistrate asked DaSilva, who then complained that the police had beaten him.

The youth was arraigned on April 23 on a charge that on April 19, at 9:45 p.m., being armed with a gun, he struck Phillip Alexander, a 56-year-old businessman of Frenches in the abdomen with the gun and robbed him of EC $2,000 in cash.

Raheem DaSilva appeared before the Serious Offences Court and was granted EC$6,000 bail with one surety.

He committed the property offence during a court appearance in connection with the robbery charge.

On Monday, he told the senior magistrate that no one has visited since he has been in prison.

“Why is your mother not coming to visit you? What does that say?,” the magistrate asked the youth, who also told the court that he never had a relationship with his father.

In response to the magistrate’s question about his anger, DaSilva told the court that the police had arrested him and confiscated his EC$350.

“He is just 19 years and he appears to be angry with the world,” the magistrate commented.

The defendant said that his behaviour in the holding cell was because he wanted his money back from the police.

The magistrate, however, observed that the money is the subject of court proceedings and that the police cannot just return it.

He told the youth that he must allow the court to determine the outcome of those proceedings, adding that the defendant cannot just go and mash up the chair and cause what the prosecution said was EC$600 in damage.

“All I see in front me is an angry 19-year-old,” the magistrate said, adding, “I don’t know. I live in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and I read the papers as well.”

Addressing senior prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche who was at the bar table, Burnett said:

“I don’t know what transpired. I understand he is polite in court.”

Delplesche, who prosecutes at the Senior Offences Court, which hears robbery and similar matters, told the magistrate that he cannot recall ever seeing DaSilva being disrespectful to anyone or while in court.

He further observed that DaSilva’s display took place in the holding cell.

The magistrate noted that the High Court had declined to vary DaSilva’s bail conditions.

“Well, you damaged the property of the government in the court building. You have to pay for it. While taxes will be used to repair that, you have to pay some tax by compensation. Even if you are angry with the system or someone, mashing up [things] is not acceptable,” he said.

Burnett, however, said he was not going to order compensation in the stated sum of EC$600, adding that he thinks that the value determined is sometimes on the high side.

He ordered the youth to pay EC$350 in compensation by Dec. 31 or spend one month in jail.

9 replies on “Youth’s anger baffles magistrate”

  1. In other words, he was ordered to make funeral arrangements for the same EC$350. Smdh! Who said trouble don’t pay??

  2. The comment, “he never had a relationship with his father” says it all or lots more than any NDP comment that “unemployment made him do it.”

    1. Why is it that you are so preoccupied to bad-mouth the NDP at any chance you get? Godwin Friday said that crime is a complicated issue and that unemployment is a major cause that contributes to an environment of crime. Why do you ignore half of what he says, turn it around and put your own spin on it to say that Friday and the NDP say that unemployment is the only cause of crime? You seem desperate to get Vincentians to vote for your beloved idol Ralph Gonsalves and your preferred ULP party by attempting to make the NDP look dumb.

    2. He has psychological issues that needs to be addressed but SVG does not have any system in place to deal with such. The thought that children of double parent households fare better than those of single parent is just a myth. At the end of the day it’s all self will and inner strength. This young man is lost and needs help beyond a jail cell, like many others at home. Never have I heard of mental health clinics at home. Not once did anyone visit our school to talk about mental health. It’s only seen as when you go crazy you have mental issues. All that anger he has locked up inside is not only because he did not have a relationship with his father but it’s definitely a contributing factor. Mental health goes beyond being on the streets eating out of a garbage can. All the other issues such as unemployment contributes to your breakdown leading to depression, anxiety, extreme anger etc. How about the government start investing in educating the general public about mental health and providing help for those who are seeking. Change is not instant but it’s a start.

  3. I hope we can retain Magistrate Burnett here in Saint Vincent. I hear of many in our Justice System are employed in other countries. Mr Haddaway is no longer the Top Cop, but maybe we can retain others in the field of Justice that are fair just and intelligent. There are a few other good judges but we all see many that often let thier bias rule then, especially when it come to politics. I often wonder that if I am before a judge that I would have to indicate that I support a particular political party, just to have a chance at a fair trial.

  4. “He is just 19 years and he appears to be angry with the world”.

    Yes Mr. Magistrate; why so angry? The “baffling curiosity” as a nation we can mutually agree on.
    Unlike you, I do not live in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and “I read the papers as well.”

    Social media is like the organism that heightens civilization these days, a needling to our curiosity if we allow it to control that of our independent thinking and notion. Depriving us of being the individual we are to be as our society is dwindling in passing on values, morals and scruples to the young people.

    The hypocrites of today’s society are to foster a theory of initiation to be part of; if not you are out.

    Sadly so; but due to the shortage of positive mentoring and effective leadership, some of our most promising young people (even their being raised of suitable upbringing) are perplexed; become discontented and mystified in a world where our apparent most accomplished leaders themselves are deceptively guided by experimentation at the expense of the most disadvantaged.

    Yes; your Hon, Why are they so angry?

  5. Anger …That’s what I’ve notice ,a lot of the young boys are struggling with.. Especially in my community, rescue { Calder }..They vets up on mornings and all you can hear is profanity,. Loud as possible no respctr for no one,they fight their parents ,uttered threatening words…They don’t have jobs or they don’t want to work..Hoping that their parents dies so they can reap the benifiy that they’ve worked so hard for…I think policing needs to be frequent in those neighborhood…Mr Burnett ,please see what’s the harshest punishment you can lay upon those young criminals,of today….They need to withdraw from themselves from committing these heinous crimes that are comitting ,not only depriving people of their own posessions…They are killing them to…And they want to live free….

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