Principal Crown Council Elwood Watts has made it clear that schoolgirls must be allowed to commute on the island’s public transport system “without being violated by adult men”.
He issued the warning today in the No. 5 Supreme Court as he urged Madam Justice Jacqueline Cornelius to impose a two to three-year sentence on 51-year-old Patrick Anderson Brathwaite.
The #1 Welches, Oistins, Christ Church resident pleaded guilty last April to indecently assaulting a 13-year-old schoolgirl on December 1, 2009.
The student had sat next to Brathwaite on a bus when he placed his hand on her thigh and attempted to touch her genitals.
“It is the most guarded part of a female and to [seek to touch] uninvited it should come with a custodial sentence,” the prosecutor declared.
In addressing the judge Brathwaite asked for forgiveness “with all my heart”, adding that he had turned his life “to God and resist evil” while on remand.
Reading a prepared statement, he said: “When I am out [I want] to minister for the Lord Jesus . . . I am asking the court for leniency.”
However, Brathwaite’s legal troubles went beyond the indecent assault conviction, as he also pleaded guilty to possession, importation and trafficking of 45.9 kilogrammes of cannabis.
The illicit substance was discovered on July 7, 2005 by the country’s Marine Unit about eight nautical miles from Barbados.
Police, acting on a tip, intercepted the boat, Shekera, which was on its way to Barbados from St Vincent and the Grenadines with Brathwaite and two other people on board.
In his statement to police the seasoned fisherman revealed that he and the other men had arrived in St Vincent on July 5 that same year and had loaded the boat with 600 pounds of cannabis.
However on the way back home some of the bails were thrown overboard when he saw a vessel, which he thought was either the Vincentian or French Coast Guard approaching.
Police later retrieved two of the packages.
Brathwaite was also found guilty of the June 8, 2008 offence of possession and trafficking of 159. 1 kilogrammes of cannabis.
Watts told the judge that Brathwaite did not “strike me as a hardcore criminal, though he may have previous convictions
. . . [He was] taken advantage of [because] of his simplicity.
“He has not imported the drugs for himself. His level is a foot solider,” the prosecutor added as he suggested that an additional three to four-year sentenced be imposed on Brathwaite, who has already spent 52 months in jail.
“I believe that it would meet the justice
. . . in these matters,” Watts said.
Judge Cornelius adjourned the case until March 24 when Brathwaite will be sentenced for all his illegal acts.