IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
CRIMINAL JURISDICTION CR04/2015
BEFORE THE HON. JUSTICE SHUSTER
HAVING HEARD - from Defence Counsel Mr Arthur Hamilton, and from the defendant in person.
1. The defendant appears at a Pre Trial review hearing - having plead NOT guilty on first arraignment on the 26th June 2014; to an information, alleging a single count of handling stolen goods.
2. At the pre-trial review which was set for today, it was disappointing to note that no one from the DPP’s Officer turned up. Enquiries were made and the matter was stood down until 09.35 for an officer from the DPP’s Office to attend but unfortunately no one attended court.
3. At todays pre-trial review, the court was told by defence counsel Mr A Hamilton, that the defendant wished to change his plea of “not guilty” - to one of “guilty.”
4. Upon re-arraignment on Friday the 31st July 2015 the defendant was told he would be given credit for his change of plea to guilty Unfortunately no DPP’s Officer had attended the facts of the case by this time however the court was the case history and the court decided it would proceed with sentencing the defendant today.
5. As part of that process the court decided to put the defendant on oath and it then enquired whether the defendant had any previous convictions before any court. The defendant indicated to the Court that he had one previous conviction in the Magistrates Court for an offence of resisting a police officer for which the defendant was sentenced to three  months imprisionment; that said - was noted that the defendant is a NOT a first time offender.
6. From perusing the facts of the case, I consider the fact that the defendant derived high value stolen goods from persons who had attacked a person in his own home at night as a particularly serious offence, which would warrant an immediate custodial sentence - of some length.
7. I then told the defendant, that had he maintained his not guilty plea; and had he been found guilty after a trial, then my then starting point would have been a sentence of at least two/three years years imprisonment, without any doubt.
8. Defence counsel during mitigation properly pointed out to the court that all of the property listed in the information, was recovered by the police and the court notes that it is also to his credit, that the defendant has during the past five months, obtained steady employment.
9. Having considered all the facts of the case which I have ascertained from the trial bundle, and after considering the fact that the defendant pleaded guilty today and, the fact that the defendant had fully co-operated with the police on his arrest and with this court subsequent to his arrest; and having heard from the defendant in person and noticing the defendant had some spent time on remand then:-
The defendant is sentenced as follows:-
10. On Count one:- the defendant is placed on probation for a period of two years from todays date. As part of this Order, the defendant is required by the court to live and to sleep each night at an address which is suitable and an address which is known to the Probation Service and has been approved by them. It is further ordered by this court, that the defendant is to comply with and he is ordered to follow the orders / directions of his assigned Probation Officer at all times.
11. This two years Probation Order is made conditional upon the defendant keeping the peace and being of good behavior towards everyone and him not committing any further offences during the operational period of the order.
12. It is also a condition of this order that the defendant is to go within seven days of todays date, and he is to make all necessary arrangements with the Probation Service for / towards his supervision.
13. I certify that I have today warned the defendant [in no uncertain terms] about the consequences of him committing any further offences or; of him failing to complete any Probation Courses or partake of any treatment [medical or otherwise] which the probation service thinks might benefit the defendant, during the next two years.
14. The defendant indicated to the court that he fully understood the terms of this Order and my warnings. This is to be a deterrent sentence, applying the principles enunciated in the Crown -v- Cunningham.
15. A Copy of this order it to be served on the Probation Service and the defendant forthwith and they are to each acknowledge safe receipt of the order.
DATED 31st July 2015
JUDGE OF THE SUPREME COURT