Kenrick Marshall gets six months, may lose driving privilege
A man convicted four times for driving while disqualified was sent to prison for six months and might now be disqualified from driving until the year 2020.
Kenrick Meagal Marshall, 33, appeared in Summary Court on Thursday and pleaded his case to Magistrate Valdis Foldats, although he was represented by attorney John Furniss. Marshall asked the court to consider that “I’ve never got caught speeding or driving under the influence. The last time I got caught I was working….”
The magistrate stopped him and told him what he should have said was, “The last time I broke the law…” Saying he “got caught” indicated he did not understand that what happened was his fault.
Marshall then raised his personal circumstances. “Without me, I don’t know what will happen to my family,” he said, adding that his situation was hard. “I’ve learned my lesson,” the defendant told the court.
The magistrate replied, “You told me that two years ago.”
Marshall’s history showed that he was disqualified from driving in 2010 for one year. In March 2011, he was convicted of driving while disqualified and was sentenced to the time he had already spent in custody and disqualified from driving for a further two years, until July 2013.
But two months later he was seen driving, brought to court and convicted. This time he was given a prison term, but it was suspended for two years.
In October 2012, while under the suspended sentence and on probation for a ganja offense, he again was seen driving and was arrested.
While on bail and disqualified until 2016, he drove again in July 2013.
Crown counsel Neil Kumar said Marshall begged officers for a chance, telling them he had children and could not afford to get locked up again.
Courts have repeatedly reminded people that insurance policies do not cover a driver who is disqualified, and the public is put at risk if here is an accident.
The magistrate said he had to send a message to Marshall and everyone else. He pointed out that probation and a suspended sentence were both orders of the court; breaching them is a form of contempt of court. [Terms of probation require that the person not commit any further offenses.]
The magistrate began by activating the three-month suspended sentence that had been imposed for the second driving while disqualified.
For the third such offense, he said his starting point was six months, but he gave credit for the guilty plea and made this four-month sentence concurrent.
For the most recent driving while disqualified, the magistrate said he had to start higher – nine months. With the one-third discount for a guilty plea, the sentence was six months and also concurrent.
The magistrate pointed out that the maximum sentence for this offense is one year. He also considered Marshall’s personal circumstances
He added an additional four years on to the period of disqualification.
Marshall received a concurrent sentence of one month for selling lottery tickets, which he said he did because he was having trouble getting work.
Mr. Furniss had suggested community service as a sentence. “If he goes to prison, when he comes out the situation will be the same,” he said. The attorney pointed out that keeping Marshall in custody would be a financial burden to the state.
“I’d be doing the criminal justice system a disservice if he did not go to jail today,” the magistrate said.
It was then that Marshall asked to speak. He started telling about an incident at work when he was sent to get some medicine for someone. “I was nervous. I didn’t know what to do,” he said.
The magistrate told him, “It’s easy to know what to do. You say, ‘I am disqualified. I cannot drive.’”