A Redemption Sharpes man has been remanded to prison for two weeks while Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett decides his sentence for destroying his 14-year-old brother’s clothes, athletics trophy and medals.
Kentish Jack, 27, appeared at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Monday, where he was charged that last Saturday, Feb. 29, at Redemption Sharpes, without lawful excuse, he destroyed a quantity of clothing valued at EC$1,020, trophy and three medals, total value EC$1,090 belonging to his brother, also of the same address.
The prosecutor, Police Constable Corlene Samuel told the court that the 14-year-old complainant had no clothes as a result of the fire and could not come to court to testify in the matter.
Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett then asked if the teen would get some clothes from Social Services that day, and the prosecutor said that the Crown would contact that department.
The magistrate then remanded Jack in custody until Tuesday, for hearing of the facts and sentencing in the matter.
On Tuesday, the teen came to court accompanied by another older brother.
In presenting the facts, Samuel told the court that the complainant lives with his siblings, including the defendant at their home in Redemption Sharpes.
Their mother, who lives in Canada, bought a TV for the home, but Jack took it and placed it in his bedroom.
Last Saturday, sometime in the evening, Jack was not at home and his brother went into his bedroom to watch TV and fell asleep while doing so.
The defendant returned home around 11:55 p.m. and met his brother asleep on the bed.
Jack awoke his younger sibling and began arguing with him about going into his (Jack’s) bedroom.
The defendant got aggressive to the point that his younger brother left the house and went into the public road.
Jack went for his brother, pulled him into the yard and slapped him.
The teen picked up a stone and pelted it as his older brother, striking him.
Jack then went into the house, gathered up his brother’s clothes, including his school uniform, his medals and everything else he could find and set them on fire outside the house.
He further told his younger brother to stay outside the house.
At that point, a third brother, who was not at home, was contacted and he made a report to the police.
Detective Constable Layne investigated the report and Jack gave her a statement admitting to the offence.
During the sentencing phase of the hearing, the defendant told the court that he is the oldest of the siblings at the house.
He said he began working the previous week as a minibus driver.
Jack further said that their father does not live with them.
“So, for all intents and purposes, you are performing the function of the big brother, probably the father as well?” the magistrate said.
The defendant responded that he had told his mother that he could not handle that.
“He is 14 years old. He is what we call a young boy. You are older than him and have more experience than him,” the magistrate told Jack of the defendant.
Jack told the court that when he got into the room, the television was on and that is how he knew his brother had gone into his room.
He said that he had taken the television into his room because one morning when he woke up after the 14-year-old had been watching the TV, it was still on.
Jack said he turned off the television but met it on again when he returned home that afternoon.
The older brother further told the court that he took the TV into his room because there is a DVD player in the house that belongs to him.
Jack further said that because of the kind of rage that he was in, he took up the clothes and burnt them.
He, however, said that most of the clothes in the bag that he burnt belonged to his sister.
“I am minded to send you to prison for a short time to reflect on what you did,” the magistrate told Jack.
Burnett further said that even if the 14 year old were rude or disrespectful, “how can you burn up his things?
“I don’t know much about him but I live in this world and I know how 14-year-olds — some of them — operate… In my mind, what you did was a bit extreme… I am not saying what he did is right but he would not be the first younger brother to hit back an older brother.”
And Samuel echoed similar sentiments, telling the court that burning up the child’s possessions was extreme.
Burnett further observed that the defendant seemed not to have any remorse at all.
The defendant then told the court that almost all of his brother’s things were dirty and in the laundry room.
The magistrate said:
“Based on my interaction [with you], you don’t seem to think you are wrong.”
“Yeah, I am wrong,” the defendant said.
Jack returns to court on March 17.