Car thief gets two-year prison sentence
A man who admitted to having three previous convictions for simple larceny was sentenced to two years' imprisonment at hard labour on Tuesday for stealing a car while the owner watched a movie.
Ian Williams, 32, appeared before Senior Parish Judge Lori-Anne Cole-Montaque in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court to be sentenced for larceny of a motor vehicle, an offence to which he pleaded guilty on a previous court appearance.
Although the presiding judge indicated that she would not impose sentence without Williams' antecedents, he did his own plea mitigation and revealed his criminal convictions to the court. He is also currently serving a six-month sentence for impersonation of an official.
"These offences are serious offences. I suppose you would have prepared your mind that the sentence you will receive is a further term of imprisonment and I suppose that you have further prepared your mind that due to the fact that you have served terms of imprisonment, that this court will be lenient in a lighter sentence," the senior judge reasoned, noting that her starting point would be three years' imprisonment.
"Yes, I understand, Your Honour. Well, based on the fact that I pleaded guilty at the first chance, I would say I deserve 18 months," Williams responded.
But the judge was not swayed, saying she was troubled by the similarities with his previous convictions and his current charge. Cole-Montaque stressed that Williams would not benefit from sentencing discounts, based on his previous convictions.
"This is a lady who went to the cinema and picture it, maybe she was stressed out, she just wanted an evening of leisure, and I think every citizen should be allowed to do that. She goes to the theatre and she comes out and her vehicle is not there. Process with me, that moment of the complainant not having her vehicle. Can you imagine the shock? You can imagine the confusion and I can also imagine the uncertainty, the inconvenience of it. The court must put weight on the trauma the complainant went through," the senior jurist said.
"I think you must feel for it because you are a man of previous convictions and that's bad," she reasoned.
Details shared in the court state that the vehicle, a Nissan AD wagon, was securely locked on the premises of the Carib 5 cinema on June 4 about 5:20 p.m. But after exiting the cinema, the woman realised that her vehicle was missing. A report was made the Cross Roads Police Station and subsequent investigations led the cops to a premises in Sligoville, St Catherine, where the vehicle was found in Williams' possession.