Sentencing adjourned until Jan. 22
Eduardo Robinson wiped tears from his face on Thursday after pleading guilty to causing the death of his brother by careless driving.
Egbert Robinson, one year younger than Eduardo, was a passenger in the car the defendant was driving when he hit a wall on Mangrove Avenue, Prospect, on Oct. 28, 2012.
Robinson, now 27, was charged with causing death by dangerous driving and pleaded not guilty. Trial was scheduled to start in Grand Court on Thursday and a jury was selected. However, defense attorney Laurence Aiolfi asked Justice Charles Quin to indicate what the maximum sentence would be if the defendant pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.
After hearing the background of the charge and the defendant, the judge said he would not impose an immediate custodial sentence. The jury was subsequently released.
Robinson, who is speech and hearing impaired, as was his brother, had the assistance of his former teacher who used sign language to convey what was going on in court. She agreed with Justice Quin that the brothers were more like twins. She said when she went to visit Eduardo in the hospital after the incident, he told her it was so hard for him and he was sorry he had not died at the same time.
The interpreter said both brothers were good boys who never gave problems in school.
Mr. Aiolfi said there were no aggravating features such as alcohol or racing. Although the offense was obviously serious, it was at the lower end of the scale, he submitted.
Crown counsel Greg Walcolm disagreed. He described the offending as being in the intermediate stage of seriousness; it was not momentary inattention. Robinson was driving through a residential area 14 mph above the speed limit when he negotiated a bend in a road that had recently been resurfaced with chip and spray and still had loose gravel on it. A speed of 49 mph was calculated from tire marks at the scene.
Robinson had been driving for more than a year and had no previous offenses. He had no record of any other offending behavior.
Mr. Walcolm accepted that this was a difficult situation for the defendant and for his family, many of whom were in court.
Mr. Aiolfi advised Justice Quin that the family did not support the prosecution. “They have lost one son and do not want to lose another,” he said.
Justice Quin observed, “We’re used to sad cases in this court. This is as sad as they come.”
He ordered a social inquiry report, which now takes eight weeks to prepare. Given the holidays and court schedule, the judge set sentencing for Jan. 22 at 2 p.m.