Man gets 41 concurrent sentences

Magistrate wraps up 19 case files; defendant disqualified from driving until 2028

Mark Anthony Seymour was sentenced last week to 27 months’ imprisonment for three charges of threats to kill, but he will also be serving concurrent sentences for 41 other convictions. 

Magistrate Grace Donalds considered his offending in three basic categories: threats to kill police officers, drug cases and traffic charges.  

Along with the consecutive and concurrent sentences, an informal count showed nine convictions for which the magistrate imposed no separate penalty, seven charges that were left on file, and one fine. In addition, Seymour has been disqualified from driving until 2028. 

After hearing mitigation from defense attorney Irvin Banks, the magistrate said she regarded Seymour’s threats as the most serious offenses. “You have dreadful interactions with police,” she commented, citing repeated disrespectful encounters. Incidents typically resulted in related charges such as disorderly conduct because of indecent language; damage to property because officers’ uniforms were torn; common assault and/or resisting arrest. 

“They got to be beating me up for me to threaten,” Seymour told the court. He asserted that officers came to where he was and gave him trouble. 

Three of the incidents occurred while Seymour was in a wheelchair. He had been seriously injured in a traffic accident on January 28, 2013. 

Crown counsel Neil Kumar, who presented summaries for 19 files, said police were on Bodden Town Road, near the Lighthouse restaurant, when they saw a vehicle going 68 mph in the 30-mile zone. Officers turned around to stop the car, but then saw it overtake another, and they decided not to pursue it because it appeared the driver would attempt to evade them and be a danger to other road users. 

As the officers rounded a bend, they saw the same car in collision with another vehicle. The driver, who turned out to be Seymour, was climbing out of his car, but he had serious leg injuries that included a fracture. Four people in the other vehicle were seriously injured and a fence was damaged to a value of $2,180. 

Seymour was charged with driving without insurance, driving while disqualified, taken a conveyance without permission and dangerous driving. In February 2013, there was a confrontation with police near the hospital coffee shop. He threatened to kill the officer involved, or knock him off his bicycle if he saw him in a particular area.  

In May 2013, police were dispatched to the hospital after a report of a disturbance. Seymour was told to stop his behavior and an officer attempted to push his wheelchair from the area. Seymour put his feet on the ground, grabbed the officer’s shirt and tore it and damaged his watch band.  

The next day, officers on patrol saw Seymour in his wheelchair outside a business premises on Eastern Avenue. They knew he had failed to report to the station, which was part of his bail conditions, so they stopped to talk to him. He was hostile and used abusive language. When prevented from leaving, he spit at the officers. As one of them tried to handcuff him, he attempted to hit the officer with the handcuffs. He said it was a good thing he “didn’t get the knife today” or he would have pushed it in their head. 

The fourth charge of threatening to kill was laid after an incident in November 2013. Seymour pleaded not guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm to an officer and trial was held this year. In October he was found not guilty of the assault, but pleaded guilty to other charges. 

The first charge of threats to kill was left on file. The magistrate then imposed sentences of six months, nine months and 12 months for the other three, running them all consecutively. “You’re going to have to learn to behave in a calm and respectful manner,” she told him. Another file related to drug charges and Seymour pleaded not guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to supply in November 2013, but admitted three charges related to ganja. In March 2014, the Crown offered no evidence on the cocaine charge and it was dismissed. Other charges of possessing and consuming ganja dated from 2012. 

Seymour had already been disqualified from driving until 2020. Four further incidents, including the January, 2013 accident, resulted in four further consecutive disqualifications for two years each. He received concurrent sentences for related offenses such as driving without insurance and failing to comply with an officer’s order. 

He was also ordered to pay for the fence damaged in the January 2013, incident or serve four months in default. 

Mr. Banks noted that Seymour, who turned 30 last month, had reached a point where he realized he had to do better if he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life in and out of prison. “I still have some faith in Mark Seymour, that he will turn himself around,” the attorney said. 

He suggested that having a girlfriend or getting married might make a difference.  

The defendant smiled. 

Magistrate Grace Donalds considered his offending in three basic categories: threats to kill police officers, drug cases and traffic charges. 

1 COMMENT

  1. 41 concurrent sentences seems somewhat egregious!
    I fully understand that the magistrate wants to set an appropriate amount for a custodial sentence, but the public does not really ‘see’ or perceive any justice from the issuing of concurrent time. It seems to jar with natural justice – each crime feels like it should have a separate and distinct consequence.

    Editor – maybe this is a good question for the online poll?

    Perhaps it would have been better to issue for example a two week sentence for each of the 41 offences giving say 20 months, but issue them as a suspended sentence for e.g. 3 or 5 years on his release.

    Surely that is much more of an incentive for him to reform than to have ‘served’ them while already incarcerated?

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