A 19-year-old thief who had been on remand at HMP Dodds since January, was granted his freedom by a Bridgetown magistrate who expressed concern about the direction his life was headed.
When Shaquille Stephan Gibbons of Douglin Road, Carlton, Weston, St James made his first appearance before Magistrate Douglas Frederick four months ago, he pleaded guilty to the August 27, 2016 charge of stealing an $80 wallet, a $30 ring, a $150 bangle and $1,500 in cash belonging to Prem Nandwani.
“You are seriously at risk. You are a victim of poor education, a victim of poor family background and people will prey on you. I do not like the associations you have made with the person complaining in this matter,” a concerned Frederick said, after reading a probation report into the teenager’s life.
He was also worried about the associates Gibbons had met when he was previously incarcerated.
“You are not a leader, you are a follower. I am asking to see your mother . . . but she doesn’t seem to be interested in you. You are a victim of some serious circumstances,” Frederick said.
He then urged the young man to try and “reform your life . . . walk on the straight and narrow” as he placed him on a bond to keep the peace and be on good behaviour for the next year.
If the bond is breached, Gibbons will have to pay the court $1,500 forthwith, and if he can’t pay up, he will spend two months in jail.
The magistrate warned the seemingly
quiet young man that there was “no other place” for him to go but prison if he breached the order.
“You need a paradigm shift in your life.
You need to change your whole circle of friends. Keep away from disorderly people,” the magistrate advised Gibbons as he set him free.