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The defendant, Ronald Isaacs aka John Small leaves the Kingstown Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, May 28, 2024.
The defendant, Ronald Isaacs aka John Small leaves the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, May 28, 2024.
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A man who breached twice in three days a court order that he stay at home at night has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Ronald Isaacs aka John Small was again spared immediate jail time although it was the third time he committed the offence since last November, when the court also imposed a suspended sentence.

Isaacs pleaded guilty at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday to charges that on May 23 and 26, at Paul’s Avenue and South River Road, he breached court order 118 of 2024 imposed by Senior Magistrate Colin John on March 7.

The facts, as presented by acting Corporal of Police 817 Stapleton, a prosecutor, are that on March 7, Isaacs, who is well known to police, was arrested and charged with theft and taken before the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, where John was presiding.

Issacs pleaded not guilty and was granted bail, a condition of which was that he observe an 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. daily curfew at his home until the matter is disposed of.

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However, on May 23, about 5 a.m., acting on information, officers from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) went to an area in Paul’s Avenue and saw Isaacs with a large green tarpaulin.

As the officers approached, Isaacs ran and was not apprehended.

Then, on May 26, about 2:15 a.m., PC247 McDowald and PC 1055 Robertson of Beat and Patrol were on foot patrol duty near Heritage Square and saw Isaacs running in the South River.

McDowald, who knew about the curfew, shouted at Isaacs.

The defendant told the police, “Oh God, officer, ah man ah try kill me up High School bus stop so me jump in the river to try save me life.”

Isaacs was 3 or 4 feet from the officers when he began to run again. The officers gave chase and caught him a short distance away.

During a search of his person, Isaacs handed over a black handle knife with a silver blade to the police.

Senior Magistrate Tammika Da Silva-McKenzie noted that the last entry in Isaacs’ criminal record was for the same type of offence, imposed by Magistrate John Ballah in November.

In mitigation, defence counsel Chrislon Fraser informed the court that Isaacs is a 43-year-old father of three children, aged 6, 13 and 15.

Fraser said that despite Isaacs’ run-ins with the law, he has contributed to the society and he owns and operates a shop in Kingstown and a property that he rents out.

The lawyer said Isaacs was merely trying to hustle and make a dollar on May 23 when police saw him.

Fraser noted that the offence carries a maximum of two years imprisonment and asked the court to consider that Issacs was remorseful, pleaded guilty and gave a caution statement to police.

He said he did not intend to paint his client as a perfect person but said Isaacs was capable of change and rehabilitation.

The lawyer asked the court to impose non-custodial concurrent sentences.

“Two separate offences, days apart?” the magistrate asked.

Meanwhile prosecutor acting Corporal of Police Corlene Samuel said that the Crown considered a custodial sentence as warranted in the case. She, however, disagreed that they should be concurrent, noting that the offences were committed days apart.

The magistrate adjourned the sentencing until Thursday to verify the status of the suspended sentence imposed on Isaacs last November.

On Thursday, Da Silva-Mckenzie said she was able to ascertain that Isaacs had been sentenced to three months in prison suspended for three months.

She, however, noted that he committed the same offence in less than a year.

“So, is he learning or not? Maybe the suspended sentence did not work and he needs to have the actual experience,” the magistrate said.

However, Issacs said that people burglarises his shop sometimes.

Da Silva-McKenzie said that explanations seemed like he was informing the court that he would return for the same offence.

Isaacs said he would get someone to watch the shop for him.

“I am begging you please,” he began to say when the magistrate told him to beg himself to obey the court order.

She said that her understanding of section 30 of the Criminal Code is that a sentence should not be suspended for less than a year.

“So, I am going to sentence you to prison and it is going to be suspended for a year.”

She sentenced Issacs to six months and eight months on each count, respectively, and suspended them for a year.

Da Silva-McKenzie said the sentences should run consecutively, based on the totality principle, but she ordered that they run concurrently.

“So do your best to stay out of trouble and do not be found breaching your court order again,” she told Isaacs.

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