A St Michael man, in his early 50s, was today slapped with a two-year prison term after he was convicted of two counts of theft.
Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant today handed down the ruling against Junior Winston Decourcey Clarke, of 7th Avenue, New Orleans, following an incident on October 22, 2015.
It was reported that the victim, Samuel Agard, was sitting on a wall near the YMCA when Clarke approached and engaged him in a conversation.
However, Clarke became annoyed when Agard informed him that he was not interested in the conversation, and attacked him from behind. A struggle ensued, during which Agard’s pants reportedly fell off and his $300 cellular phone dropped to the ground. It was at that point that Clarke grabbed both the $150 pants and phone and ran off.
Between October 28 and 29 he also robbed Fashion Conscious Boutique of three shirts when he entered the store as a trespasser. The items were displayed on mannequins in the show window at the Tudor Street store.
Not only was Clarke caught on camera committing the crime but his fingerprints were also found on the mannequin’s neck.
Today in court Clarke apologized to the court, society and his victims and asked for forgiveness for his crimes.
“I have no one to blame but myself. I have a problem with instability and substance abuse,” he said, explaining that he generally turned to alcohol and drugs when “things don’t go my way . . . and I commit these crimes to support this habit”.
However, “I am not a total waste,” Clarke said, while informing the court that he went to one of the prestigious secondary schools on the island and spoke five languages.
In response, the magistrate pointed out to Clarke that he had “quite” the criminal history.
“A very sorry history as a result of substance abuse,” the accused man replied.
“I realize that I do need help and I must be penalized for what I did. I am asking you to assist me in getting help for my drug problem . . . because I do not want to continue this life.
“One of these days, in the not too distant future, I want to walk through these courts unfettered and [not] manacled,” he added.
Pointing out that Clarke had 28 prior convictions for a wide range of offences, the magistrate imposed the two-year sentence for the charge involving Agard and another two-year sentence for the boutique offence. The two sentences will run concurrently.
He has also been ordered to take part in the drug rehabilitation programme at HMP Dodds.