Teen gets ‘short, sharp shock’ sentence
Jino Lawrence Wright, 19, was sentenced this week to nine months’ imprisonment for burglary, but a six-month portion of that term was suspended for two years.
Magistrate Nova Hall agreed with Defence Attorney John Furniss that the “short, sharp shock” of time in custody was appropriate.
She said she saw no reason why Wright should not get a sentence to give him hope; at the same time, she wanted something hanging over him so he knows that if he slips up again he will serve the suspended sentence along with whatever the next offence might bring.
The magistrate balanced Wright’s age and the fact that the burglary was nonresidential against the fact that he had a previous conviction.
A three-month sentence for possession of 6.4 grams of ganja and consumption of ganja was made to run concurrently.
Wright had pleaded not guilty to the burglary of St. George’s Anglican preschool on Courts Road in George Town on the night of 18 November. He was charged with entering as a trespasser and stealing a digital camera.
The prosecution’s case, presented by Crown Counsel Tricia Hutchinson, was that entry was gained after glass in a rear door of the school had been smashed with a concrete block.
Staff reporting the next morning found items strewn around inside and drawers pulled out. They called police, who discovered a fingerprint on an item in the principal’s office. It was subsequently identified as Wright’s.
Giving evidence, Wright admitted going inside the school. He said he was outside smoking ganja when he heard glass break. He thought a fight was going on, so he went to see. Then he saw the back door busted open so he went inside to look around.
He realised it was a burglary, so he came back out. He agreed he touched something in the process but didn’t know what it was.
Under cross-examination he said he didn’t see anybody because he sat and finished smoking his joint before going to look.
He didn’t phone the police because he didn’t have his cell phone; he did not go to a neighbour to phone, nor did he phone when he went home.
Mr. Furniss argued that Wright could be believed because someone opening drawers and breaking a door would potentially have left a lot of fingerprints, not just one.
The magistrate said Wright’s evidence was inconsistent and not credible. Mere disbelief was not sufficient to convict him, but she found that the Crown had proved its case.