Magistrate issues challenge to accused


COURT TODAY BLOCKLast Friday, Magistrate Douglas Frederick challenged a 17-year-old to “prove them wrong”.

He was speaking to one of three teens who reappeared before him in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court for sentencing, after earlier pleading guilty to robbing Orlando Farnum of a $900 cellular phone and a $400 pair of slippers.

Justin Tremaine Bourne, who resides at Cummins Road, Brittons Hill, St Michael, Lamar Ricardo Johnson, 17, of Medford Road, Dayrells Road and Ahmal Gregory Elias, 16, of Ventnor Gardens in Christ Church were all jointly charged with the offence.

According to the reports from the probation officers, Johnson was the one deemed at “a fairly high risk of reoffending”.

However, the magistrate pointed out to him that even though the probation officer had “used data and scientific methods to determine that”, it did not have to be that way.

“You can prove them wrong,” said Frederick, as he sought to encourage the youngster keep out of trouble.

Today, the three were sentenced to 18 months probation, and 140 hours of community service was recommended for Johnson and Elias.

However, Bourne’s attorney Safiya Moore asked the court to consider a combination order of community service along with the probation, so that the teen “would have something to do with his time”.

Speaking on his behalf, Moore stressed that her client “has acknowledged how he has ended up here” and his short remand was a wake-up call.

She told the Magistrate that Bourne, who is currently unemployed, was enthusiastic about getting into a vocational training programme. “It is his first interaction with the law,” Moore stressed, “and he sees where his behaviour can lead.

“He recognises that he needs to put a stop to it.”

However, Elias and Johnson returned to HMP Dodds where they will continue on remand in relation to another matter. Once granted bail for that offence, the above conditions will apply. Additionally, Elias has to undergo drug testing.

All three will also be on a 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. curfew. They return to court March 11 next year.

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