A man regarded as a “serial cellular phone snatcher” will spend the next 30 months behind bars at HMP Dodds.
Ricardo Sylvester Knight, 38, of Stephenson Land, Kew Road, St Michael today pleaded guilty in the District “A” No 1 Magistrates’ Court to a total of 20 charges — the majority of which involved cellular phones.
The unemployed man admitted to stealing a $100 cellular phone belonging to Petal Porter; a $600 cellular phone and a $25 case belonging to Chanelle Branch; a cellular phone and case worth $545 belonging to Terry Semple; a $450 cellular phone belonging to Nicole Lewis; a $1,200 cellular phone belonging to Tanisha Alexander; a $826.38 cellular phone belonging to Ayesha Boyce–Gaskin; a cellular phone and case valued at $835 belonging to Rashena Jones; a $600 cellular phone belonging to Shenelle Franklyn; one cellular phone worth $1,000 and a pair of headphones worth $60 belonging to Nicole Whiteman; one cellular phone valued at $1,000 and a case worth $50 belonging to Tanisha Greaves; one $1,200 cellular phone and a $35 case belonging to Dionne Wilson; one $438 cellular phone belonging to Derika Brathwaite; a $600 cellular phone belonging to Joy Maynard; a $600 cellular phone belonging to Karen Watkins; a $700 cellular phone belonging to Tanisha Jn-Marie; a cellular phone and case valued $1550 belonging to Chanel Hall and a $1,200 cellular phone belonging to Juliet Batson.
Audible murmurs were heard across the courtroom as Magistrate Douglas Frederick continued to read out Knight’s charge sheet. He is also accused of unlawfully assaulting Sandra Herbert and using threatening Yvonne Young, who he told, “I would burn down yuh house flat and kill all of wunna dey”. Both offences occurred on February 17, 2016.
All 20 offences were committed in the parish of St Michael.
According to the police prosecutor, the majority of phones were snatched between 2015 and 2016 while Knight rode a bicycle.
His lawyer, Roy Hurley, said his client was a heavy marijuana and cocaine user who committed the offence to feed his habit.
“He admitted to being a serial cell phone thief. Thankfully, force was not used in the vast majority of cases. He is a frequent user of both cocaine and cannabis and he is in desperate need of help. The drug habit is the root cause of all his criminal activities, but I implore your worship in this case and under these circumstances that drug rehabilitation should be the focus of any sentence that you are mindful to impose. He has intimated to me that he can benefit from a spell at Verdun House,” Hurley stated.
However, the magistrate said he was doubtful that the institution could accommodate the accused, even though he agreed that drug rehabilitation was a must.
“This is a bad case. He is a danger to society. Is Verdun House equipped for that kind of person? Really he is a good candidate for prison, you have 20 charges,” the magistrate told Knight, asking: “The last time I gave you an opportunity through a suspended sentence, why didn’t you use that properly?”
Knight, who admitted to using drugs since the age of 26, was sentenced to ten consecutive three-month sentences and was convicted, reprimanded and discharged on the others.
He was also ordered to attend the drug rehabilitation programme at HMP Dodds.