Purse snatcher gets 5 years

A man described as a hard-core drug addict was sentenced to five years imprisonment for robberies he committed to fuel his addiction.

Duncan Wright, 31, had admitted the offences, which took place on 23 and 24 May. In each instance he took a handbag from a woman while he was carrying a machete.

On 23 May, around 9.15 pm, a woman was walking on North Church street with a black handbag over her shoulder. She heard the sound of a bicycle falling to the ground. She turned and saw a man dressed all in black with his face partly covered and a machete in his hand.

He grabbed her bag and when she attempted to hold on, he swiped the machete at her, then took off on the bicycle.

The stolen bag had contained CI$44, US$25 and personal effects.

The next day, in another part of George Town, Wright committed a similar offence, with a similar modus operandi.

Defence Attorney Lloyd Samson pointed out that Wright had saved the court considerable time by his early guilty pleas and he had saved the women the trouble of coming to court.

Mr. Samson described the defendant’s addiction, which had forced him to commit these offences.

Wright desired help for his problem and was minded to avail himself of whatever resources are available.

The offences were serious, Mr. Samson acknowledged, and the ladies were put in fear. But no violence was done to them and their belongings were recovered. The attorney asked for concurrent sentences under the circumstances.

Mrs. Justice Priya Levers said the aggravating factor in these offences was the use of the machete.

Citizens must be free to walk without people like the defendant attacking them, she commented.

The judge accepted that drugs were a factor, but that was no excuse, she pointed out.