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The then 16-year-old burglar and cocaine addict leaves the Kingstown Magistrate's Court on Feb. 17, 2023.
The then 16-year-old burglar and cocaine addict leaves the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Feb. 17, 2023.

The teen who then Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett appeared to try to avoid sending to prison in February is back in court having committed a similar offence: smashing a store window in Kingstown.

On Monday, the 17-year-old, who told the court earlier this year that he has a cocaine habit, appeared before Kingstown Magistrate John Ballah and pleaded guilty to a charge that on Sept. 14, at Kingstown, without lawful excuse, he bandaged on transparent 81 X 60 plate glass, the property of Rudolph Baynes of Cane Carden. 

The magistrate adjourned and transferred the matter to the Serious Offences Court for facts and sentencing today (Tuesday).

Earlier, after repeatedly talking to the teen and other accused persons about speaking in the courtroom, Ballah told Prosecutor acting Corporal of Police Corlene Samuel that if the teen pleads not guilty, he is transferring the matter to another court. 

“Every time [he] meets me, he always tells me what he would do to me,” the magistrate said.

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“But he doesn’t do so from close; he does so from a distance. So, I don’t want him to feel that I am being unfair to him so if he pleads not guilty, his matter will go to a different court.,” Ballah said. 

In February after a sentencing hearing over two days, Burnett ordered the then 16-year-old to enrol in the youth assistance programme at Marion House for a year or go to prison for 12 months.

But soon after, he had to summon Director of Marion House, Jeanie Ollivierre, about why the teen was back on the streets of Kingstown the same night after he was sentenced, even after she had told the court that the non-profit, professional counselling centre had adequate security to keep him there while addressing his issues, including cocaine addiction.

In February, the teen was found guilty of a charge that on Dec. 26, 2022 — Boxing Day — at Grenville Street, Kingstown, he damaged the glass store window of Platinum Divas Store.

Further, the teen, along with Kamal “Condom” Small, 31, of Penniston, and Jomo Ronaldo Lyttle aka “Thug” and “Jacob”, 42, of Redemption Sharpes, was convicted of a charge that on the same date, they entered the Platinum Divas Store as trespassers and stole 300 stainless steel Skemei wrist watches, valued at EC$67,500, one blow hair dryer, valued at EC$150 and a quantity of female accessories, valued at EC$500, total value, EC$68,150, the property of Mohammad Afaneh, of Cane Garden.

During the sentencing hearing, Burnett had  commented that the teen seemed to have been so heavily under the influence of drugs when he committed the crime that he did not even seem to know what had happened to him.

The teen told the court about his experience in prison while he was on remand. 

“[My father] does beat me round there. My big brother is doing 20 years because he shoot a man. So, if you sentence me, I might go round and meet him,” he told the court.

The magistrate said he knows the teen’s parents from their interactions with the courts in the districts.

“So, I am not surprised that you are like that because of the parents that you have. I know them from the court. So based on his socialisation, I am not surprised that he is before me,” Burnett said.

Small was sentenced to four years in prison and Lyttle to two years and eight months.

The trio each told the court that they abuse cocaine.

Since being ordered to complete the programme at Marion House, the teen has been on the street of Kingstown, daily begging passers-by for money and getting aggressive with people who do not give him. 

One reply on “Teen who court tried not to jail smashes another window in K’town ”

  1. Hmmmmmmm, so this young man who has an apparent drug addiction, is menacing to passerby is having his features, his identifying features hidden from the public. How is anyone especially an elderly person supposed to recognize him to take evasive actions?
    Just asking.

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