Terrence Tex Bryan was sentenced to three years imprisonment on Friday after pleading guilty to a robbery that occurred in the Elmslie Memorial Church parking lot in downtown George Town in the early hours of Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017.
Justice Marva McDonald-Bishop handed down the sentence after summarizing the facts from the Crown and mitigation from defense attorney Lee Halliday-Davis, which she heard on a previous occasion.
Two women were speaking with each other in the parking lot around 1 a.m. when the defendant and another man jumped from behind parked cars and grabbed the women. Mr. Bryan ripped a 14-karat gold chain and a bead chain from the neck of one of the women. When the other man hit the other woman, Mr. Bryan told him, “Don’t thump her.”
One of the women was able to run for help and when she came back, the two men were searching the car but ran off on her approach.
The judge was shown a photo of the injuries sustained by the woman from whom the necklaces were stolen. They consisted of abrasions to her neck and shoulder. The judge commented on the psychological harm that would also have been caused.
Mr. Bryan had not agreed entirely with the agreed basis of plea. He said he had joined the enterprise after the other man had initiated it. The judge indicated this made little difference because he was still acting in a joint enterprise.
She read in detail from the social inquiry report that had been prepared about the defendant. She said it painted a picture of a 30-year-old man with a troubled childhood and volatile family relationships. With 62 previous convictions since 2005, he had spent a substantial portion of his adulthood in prison. He was intelligent, but made poor choices because of drug abuse.
He had written a letter to the complainant expressing remorse and the hope he could be forgiven, This was his first robbery, the judge noted. His convictions were largely for theft and burglary.
Aggravating features of this offense included the time of night; the location, in the church car park; the fact that there were two attackers; the fact that two victims were subjected to the attack, although only one was robbed; and his previous convictions.
The mitigating factors emphasized by Ms. Halliday-Davis included Mr. Bryan’s early admissions to police and the fact that no weapon was used. The force used was not more than was needed to remove the necklaces. He had written an apology and was remorseful.
Justice McDonald-Bishop said his remorse had not extended to returning the stolen items or offering compensation. She found that the aggravating features far outweighed the mitigation.
The sentence after trial would have been four years, six months, she said. With one-third credit for the guilty plea, the sentence was three years. Time in custody is to be deducted.
The second man involved in the robbery has apparently never been identified.