A Murray’s Village man who the Mercy Committee freed after he was jailed for driving without licence and insurance has been imprisoned again for committing the same offences twice after his release.
On Wednesday, Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett jailed the man, Kamal Garraway, for six months for the offences.
The magistrate said the court, generally, does not imprison people for traffic offences but deemed Garraway as “lawless”.
Burnett pointed out that Garraway was sent to prison in March 2021 on similar charges.
“So, the point I am making, these offences for which you are before the court, they happened in the same year.”
Garraway was jailed for six months in March 2021 but he told the court that the prime minister pardoned him two months into the sentence.
“It’s not the prime minister; it is the Mercy Committee,” Burnett told Garraway.
“I am going off what they said round there (prison),” Garraway said.
“And then you are out and you do the same thing. Maybe the Mercy Committee should hear about you. They pardoned you and you did the same thing twice. So, tell me why you should not go back in and do the real sentence?” the magistrate said.
“Prison ain’t for me,” Garraway responded, adding that he had made a mistake and that he would not do it again.
He told the court that he has a girlfriend and child and asked to be bonded or fined.
“The magistrate disqualified you from driving, when you disregard that and go on the road and drive, what is that saying?” Burnett said.
The fact that Garraway did not have a valid driver’s permit at the time, meant that the vehicle he was driving was uninsured.
On Friday, Feb. 10, Burnett remanded Garraway into custody to await sentencing, having found him guilty of charges that:
· on July 27, 2021, at Murray’s Village Public Road, being the driver of R5192, he did drive the said vehicle whilst being disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving permit for a period of six months, by Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne at the Serious Offences Court, Kingstown on March 24, 2021; and,
· on July 27, 2021 at Murray’s Village Public Road, being the driver of R5192, he did drive the said vehicle without there being in force a policy of insurance in respect of third party risk in respect of the said vehicle.
After his conviction, Garraway pleaded guilty to the same charges relating to the same vehicle on June 26, 2021, at Bentick Square Kingstown.
The facts as they emerged at the trial are that about 1:30 p.m. on July 27, 2021, PC 379 Hamilton was driving G884, transporting Rapid Response Unit officers on mobile patrol duty.
While driving along the Murray’s Village Public Road, he observed that Garraway was driving R5192, a blue Suzuki Swift.
Hamilton knew that Garraway had been barred from holding or obtaining a driver’s licence for six months.
The officer turned on his siren and gave chase. Garraway sped away and the police later came met the vehicle with the driver seat empty and his pregnant girlfriend in the passenger seat.
When asked about Garraway’s whereabouts, the woman told the police, “He run through dey.”
She further said, “Oh God, why Kamal run leave me?”
At the trial, the woman denied making the statements and said that it was Davis George who was driving the vehicle.
George and Garraway testified similarly, with George saying he stopped the vehicle and ran because he had marijuana.
Asked to mitigate on behalf of his client, defence counsel Michael Wyllie told the court that the case seemed like one for appeal.
The magistrate said that the court could have the record in 48 hours.
Wyllie told the court that the person who was driving the vehicle went to the police station the day after and so indicated.
However, Burnett told him that those are issues for the Court of Appeal and, again, asked the lawyer to mitigate on behalf of his client.
“I don’t think the evidence in this case is enough to convict,” Wyllie, however, stated as counsel Jomo Thomas, who was in the public gallery, said, “Counsel, take it up on appeal.”
Wyllie told the court that he was of the view that the case was one in which a fine or a bond should apply.
The magistrate told him that the court would also note his indication that he intends to appeal the matter.
Wyllie said that was the extent of his mitigation.
In her submission, prosecutor acting Corporal of Police Corlene Samuel noted the offences and told the court to sentence as it sees fit.
In presenting the facts regarding the June 26, 2021 matters, Samuel told the court that on that date, traffic officers were carrying out traffic checks in Kingstown.
While doing so, they received information about Garraway and were aware that he had been disqualified from driving or holding a driver’s permit for six months, he having committed the offences of driving an uninsured motor vehicle with a fraudulent registration number.
About 3:35 p.m., Corporeal 189 Caesar, Constables 879 Fisher and 52 Barbour were in the area of Milton Cato Memorial Hospital and saw Garraway driving the said vehicle.
The officers blocked the road, including one vehicle in front of the defendant’s and one behind him.
Garraway attempted to pull out but the police officers stopped him and Caesar approached the vehicle and instructed him to exit.
Samuel said the officer had to pull their weapons to get Garraway to comply.
In mitigation, Wyllie told the court it was a situation where Garraway was forced to assist as there was an emergency involving the defendant’s girlfriend so he took the chance to drive the vehicle to deal with it.
In handing down the sentence, the magistrate said a prison sentence would be imposed, based on Garraway’s record, adding that any fine.
Burnett further said that in light of Garraway’s record, any fine would be EC$5,000 or six months in prison.
Meanwhile, Wyllie said a fine would be appropriate in the circumstances.
“You want a fine for him because he is your client,” Burnett said, adding, “But look at a lawless man before the court. He has no regard for the law.”
The defendant asked the court not to say that he was lawless, adding that he had made a mistake.
“I am afraid, Mr. Garraway, that I have to send you to prison,” Burnett said.
On each of the insurance charges, Garraway was jailed for two months and three months on each of the charges for driving while being barred from doing so.
The sentences for the offences committed on the same dates will run concurrently, but consecutive to those committed on different dates, meaning that Garraway will spend six months in prison.