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The New Democratic Party's headquarters, Democrat House. (IWN file photo)
The New Democratic Party’s headquarters, Democrat House. (IWN file photo)

The 18-year-old man who broke into the headquarters of the main opposition New Democratic Party this month and stole a package of food and other items said he went looking for food.

Aswell John told Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett during his sentencing hearing at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Monday that he thought he might have met food there because the party always talks about child hunger.

John had, two weeks earlier, pleaded guilty to charges of burglarising and damaging the building.

He was sentenced on Monday after two weeks on remand at Her Majesty’s Prison.

Burnett noted during Monday’s hearing that NDP general secretary had told the court that the party’s headquarters had been burglarised four times before.

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On hearing this, John said that it was the first time that he was involved.

Aswell John
Aswell John will have to walk the straight and narrow for the next 12 months in order to avoid a three-year jail term. (iWN photo)

Ask to comment on sentencing, Prosecutor Corlene Samuel noted that John had spent two weeks in prison and suggested a bond.
She, however, said that the court should impose whatever sentence it sees fit.

John had told the court that he had a terrible stay at Her Majesty’s Prison.

Burnett restated his position that burglars will get no sympathy from him.

“I have said that over and over,” the magistrate said, noting that John was caught because someone recorded him committing the crime.

The magistrate said that the defendant had even doubted whether the witnesses had, in fact, recorded a video.

John, who had told the court that he had quit the Emmanuel High School Mesopotamia because of poverty, said that no one had visited him during his two-week stay in prison.

For damaging two hasps and staples, two padlocks and easel and whiteboard at Democrat House, the court ordered John to pay EC$390 by Jan. 15, 2019 or spend three months in prison.

For the theft of two Hairoun crates, one pack of exercise books, a package of food, one bag containing clothes, one 5-gallon bucket of paint, the property of the NDP, John was sentenced to three years in prison, suspended for 12 months.

However, he was remanded in prison after the court learnt that there was an outstanding bench warrant for him in connection with an unrelated matter.

2 replies on “Youth says NDP’s children hunger claims triggered burglary  ”

  1. The youth is just a bold faced thief. The are ample opportunities in agriculture if he wants to be gainfully employed.

  2. It really saddens me to an extent where I become more or less appalled to read some of the reasons given by juvenile perpetrators in our country for committing offences/crimes.

    Now here’s an eighteen year old juvenile being charged for burglary, appearing before a magistrate and giving his reason for his act as baically being as a result of a certain political party’s stance on children hunger.

    I wonder if the authorities are really paying attention to these vibrating cries that ever so often fill the cavity of our ears from our unemployed youths. Who’s really responsible? They certainly do not have the means to support themselves and we really need to put our heads together and do something speedily about it.

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