Youth found guilty of West Bay robberies

Defense requests psychiatric report before sentencing

A Grand Court jury found a young person guilty of two robberies of a neighborhood store after the trial concluded on Thursday.

The defendant was 15 at the time of the incidents. By law young persons may not be identified.

The robberies occurred at the same store, a mini-mart in West Bay, and the same clerk was on duty both times.

After the jury’s unanimous verdicts were announced, Justice Charles Quin commented that the clerk must have been terrified to have a gun pointed at her.

It was not clear whether the gun was a real firearm or an imitation, and the youth was charged only with two counts of robbery. That offense is theft from a person by means of force or putting the person in fear of being subjected to force.

The first robbery occurred on Saturday, March 19, 2016. It involved the theft by force of CI$930 in cash and five cellphones valued at $175 each.

The second robbery occurred on Thursday, April 21, 2016. It involved the theft by force of CI$434 in cash and five cigarette wrappers.

In both instances, the robber carried what the clerk thought was a real gun, putting her in fear, causing her to hand over the money.

The prosecution’s case, conducted by Crown counsel Greg Walcolm, included evidence of a detective who found a toy gun in the living room of the defendant’s residence. The jury also heard that the defendant’s mother handed over three phones that matched the serial numbers of the stolen phones. The store clerk described the robber as being the same person on both occasions, wearing the same clothes both times and concealing his face with a bandana. She said he used different backpacks.

An officer gave evidence about the electronic monitoring device the defendant wore. It showed that he had left his inclusion zone on March 19 at 7:56 p.m. and he was in the area of the mini-mart between 8:17:31 and 8:18:56 p.m.

The defendant gave evidence and admitted that he had gone to the area, but said he did so to buy ganja.

He also told the court that there were five toy guns in his house and the one in the living room had belonged to his cousin.

The jury deliberated for 30 minutes before returning unanimous verdicts. The trial had included a site visit.

Defense attorney Keva Reid requested a social inquiry report and psychiatric report before sentence. Justice Quin said he would also ask for a victim impact report.

The matter was set for sentencing on Thursday, April 20 at 2 p.m.

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