Since arming himself with a screwdriver and robbing an off-duty policeman in June this year, Christopher Seth Japeth Bynoe has been given every opportunity possible to get back on the straight and narrow.
The 18-year-old was remanded, seen by the Probation Department, sent to the Psychiatric Hospital and now he receives treatment at Verdun House for his drug addiction.
But if Bynoe ever breaches the court order to remain and complete the residential programme at Verdun House he will be given an alternative sentence which will likely be a jail sentence.
Bynoe pleaded guilty earlier this year to what Magistrate Douglas Frederick described as a “daring” crime. He then remanded the youth pending a presentencing report which he hoped would reveal “something redeeming.”
The resident of Fordes Road, Clapham, St. Michael confessed to assaulting Wendell Foster with intent to rob him, unlawfully and maliciously wounding him and intentionally damaging a partition belonging to the Crown on June 28 this year.
The Court heard that the complainant went to the Wildey Branch of Rubis close to 1:00 a.m. to get something to eat. The constable, who was dressed in plain clothes, was sitting in his vehicle with the door open when Bynoe, with an onion bag over his face, walked up to Foster holding a two-foot long screwdriver, put it to the complainant’ chest and demanded all his money.
The two fought and a security guard came from inside the petrol station and assisted in subduing Bynoe. Bynoe would later damage a partition at the District ‘A’ Police Station by butting it.
During his first appearance, the court was informed that Bynoe had a problem with alcohol and marijuana use. According to his attorney Mohia Ma’at, he was “in a highly drunken and intoxicated state” when the incident occurred.
Yesterday, the Probation Report confirmed Bynoe’s drug and alcohol habit, adding that on that particular night he had used both alcohol and cocaine. The probation officer believed their use influenced Bynoe’s decision not only that early morning, but in general.
The report added that the teenager had since shown remorse for his actions, had asked for help in overcoming his addiction and had been respectful throughout all his interactions with the Probation Department.
The recommendation was that Bynoe be sent to the Psychiatric Hospital for assessment. The hospital in turn recommended psychological therapy and drug rehabilitation at an entity such as Verdun House.
An official from Verdun House confirmed the willingness to give Bynoe the chance to participate in their residential programme.
Magistrate Frederick ordered the youth to attend and complete the programme, warning him of the alternative sentence if he breached the order.
“Good luck. Try and stick to the programme,” the magistrate encouraged.
“Make the best use of this golden opportunity to reform your life. If you don’t, it is up to you; I am here to serve,” he added.
Bynoe was released on $5,000 bail until December 17, when his progress report will be presented to the court.