IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
CRIMINIAL JURISDICTION CR 46 OF 2016
BEFORE THE HON. JUSTICE ROBERT A SHUSTER CRH
MR C MASON represented the Crown
MS G CLARKE represented the defendant
Sentencing date 11th October 2016
1. HAVING HEARD from Crown Counsel Mr. C Mason, and from Defence Counsel Ms. G Clarke; the defendant appears for sentencing today: - having plead “guilty" after hearing from all prosecution witnesses during the substantive trial of this matter on 09th August 2016 to two charges of a three count information; alleging his unlawful carrying of a firearm without a license with intent to cause fear and an offence of aggravated burglary. These offences are contrary to section 22  of the Firearms Ordinance Chapter 18.09 and the Theft Act section 12  and they carry a mandatory prison sentence.
2. Upon pleading "guilty” the defendant was convicted of two of the crimes for which he had been charged. A Social Enquiry Report [SER] and a Victim Impact report were called for and the case was adjourned to Tuesday 11th October 2016. The defendant was remanded in custody for the preparation of the Social Enquiry Report in view of the nature and the seriousness of these two serious crimes.
3. On Tuesday 11th October 2016. The facts were opened and agreed. The essence of this case is that on Saturday the 25th September 2015 the authorities received a report of a suspected case of threats being made to someone who was said to have pointed an imitation firearm to a young nine year old boy’s eye; and then threatened to shoot him telling the boy; "that he was going to push you outside and kill you - you fucking mummy ga never see you again.” A second complainant an adult Stacey Robinson was also confronted by the defendant with an orange flare gun he also threatened to shoot the second complainant Stacey Robinson who intervened. The second complainant was heavily pregnant at the time of this offence the defendant stated that; “he would head shoot the second complainant. ” She ran from the scene in fear and called for help.”
4. A few moments later; the defendant was physically restrained by the second complainant’s boyfriend. Police later attended the defendant’s apartment where the defendant was arrested interviewed and charged. He was later brought before the Court. The defendant initially pleaded not guilty to the three charges laid against him; as of course is his legal right.
5. The Court learnt by way of mitigation [SER} that the defendant was twenty  years of age at the time of this offence. He was previously employed in a number of short term positions. He dropped out of school early. By all accounts he had a troubled background.
6. The court takes note of the fact that the defendant pleaded "guilty” to these two serious charges only after he had heard all the prosecution evidence and he must be given some [albeit limited] credit for doing so. On the other hand the defendant appears before this court for sentencing today for participating in very serious and a particularly nasty crime; involving threatening to blow the head off a young nine year old boy; who was trying to protect his elder sister from the defendants actions.
7. The court took appropriate steps to inform the defendant in no uncertain terms of the maximum period of imprisonment which the court could impose for offences of this nature; on a trial on indictment. This was to ensure the defendant has been made well aware of the consequences of his actions on that date. The Court told the defendant that its starting point would be a sentence in the region of twelve  years imprisonment based on a NG plea and on a jury finding of guilt - so the Court asked Ms. Clarke to mitigate on her clients behalf.
8. After hearing Counsels mitigation the Court finds as a fact that the aggravating features of this crime far outweigh the mitigating features. Accordingly in this case before me today, because of his young age I will reduce the twelve years I had in mind; by four years to take into account the defendant’s youth and his change of plea. He did however subject a young nine year old boy of the trauma of giving evidence in open court, reliving the event, and this case deserves the imposition of a substantial deterrent sentence.
ORDER -SENTENCE EIGHT YEARS IN PRISON ON EACH COUNT- CONCURRENT
9. On each of the two remaining counts 2 and 3 the defendant is sentenced to serve EIGHT YEARS IN PRISON CONCURRENT TO EACH OTHER in accordance with the Firearms statute this is a serious offence. Count one of the information; the defendant was acquitted on a judge directed acquittal by the jury - at the request of the Crown.
10. A copy of this order is to be served on each of the parties to these proceedings within twenty eight  days of today's date, and the defendant is specifically ordered to sign an acknowledgment of this order.
DATED 01ST NOV 2016
JUDGE OF THE SUPREME COURT