“People in Barbados must be free to use an ATM [automated teller machine] without that fear of being set up and robbed!”
This was the contention of Magistrate Graveney Bannister today as he sentenced 30-year-old Ansley Worrell, a former security guard, to 18 months in jail for assaulting and robbing former Senator Maxine McClean at a Royal Bank of Canada ATM back in February.
Worrell’s attorney Shadia Simpson had made an application for a suspended sentence to be imposed for a year while arguing that her client was a person of good character prior to the incident, had no previous convictions and was gainfully employed.
The attorney also pointed to his early guilty plea, saying Worrell was remorseful.
“The report showed that he has a minimal risk of reoffending and he needs to get rehabilitation for drugs. He must not be treated any differently despite who is involved. He is not a hardened criminal. This is a young man who made a poor decision [and does not need] the book thrown at him. Everyone deserves a chance,” Simpson argued.
However, the magistrate described Worrell’s actions as “a brazen, broad daylight attack” which had a level of sophistication attached as his “whole face was covered . . . [and] he punched the complainant in the face”.
“The Crown must frown on his behaviour as he was in a position of trust . . . a security guard. The [court] agrees that prison should be the last resort [but the court] must deter others from committing such offences. People in Barbados must be free to use an ATM without that fear of being set up and robbed,” Bannister said.
He also referred Worrell’s probation report pointing out that he had a good upbringing, came from a close-knit family, had a good education and a good job, but his life went “downhill” when he left home and “self medicated on marijuana”.
Worrell was therefore slapped with a six-month sentence for robbing McClean of her handbag and contents worth $6,830 on February 10.
A further 18-month sentence was imposed for assaulting the former senator on the same day, occasioning her actual bodily harm.
He was also sentenced to one month in prison for stealing a licence plate belonging to George Knight sometime between December 24 and 27 last year and a further month for leaving a Sol Service Station on February 9 without paying the sum of $147 for gasoline.
The sentences will run concurrently.