The man who broke into the home of the late Selwyn Knight and his family over the weekend, admitted in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court today that he did so and stole two tablet computers worth $400 belonging to Marleen Knight.
Jamal Amal Skeete, of Bedford Lane, Greenfield, St Michael, pleaded guilty to the offence before Magistrate Douglas Frederick late this afternoon.
Knight, a 57-year-old former Barbados Port Authority employee, was fatally shot while chasing that burglar. His son, who was with him at the time, received two gunshot wounds.
When Magistrate Frederick asked Skeete what he had to say before sentencing, the convicted man said: “Something occurred that should not have occurred.”
“I really don’t know what to say about this matter because a whole man’s life has been lost due to my nonsense,” Skeete added.
He further told the magistrate that unless he wanted to give him “one last opportunity” so that he could undergo rehabilitation, “it is up to you Sir.”
Making reference to Skeete’s priors, Magistrate Frederick mentioned the number of times the 27-year-old had been incarcerated so far.
“The last time you got three months for stealing a tablet. You are here now for stealing two tablets.”
“When I sent you up for three months, you should have reformed,” Frederick told him. “This is what I was trying to tell you ever since. If you don’t stop, you are going to kill somebody or somebody is going to kill you.”
In determining the two-year sentence which Skeete was given, the magistrate said he had taken into consideration the fact that he had pleaded guilty right away and “it seems as though you have recognised that your folly has become more serious now.”
According to the facts which Sergeant Robert Jones presented to the court, on March 15 the family secured their home and left. Sylvan Knight returned home unexpectedly and saw Skeete coming from inside his Queen Mary Road, Bank Hall, St Michael home.
He asked the young man what he wanted and Skeete said he wanted a newspaper. Knight’s wife Marleen is a newspaper vendor.
Knight therefore went inside to get the item for Skeete, who ran away from the area. Both Knight and his son who was at home, gave chase.
Skeete was held at Dash Gap, Bank Hall by the Knights, and the tablets were found in his jacket pocket.
Police were called and they came to the scene. Skeete admitted to them that he stole the property and later pointed out the Knight residence to police.
His matter was the last one for the day and after he was sentenced and returned to his bench in the courtroom, Skeete sat with his head in his lap for some time.