A 53-year-old man, who pleaded guilty to two offences involving firearms, has not only apologized but has sought “forgiveness” for the wrong he has done.
Anthony Alonza Smith of Clement Hall, Airy Hill, St Joseph issued the apology before Madam Justice Pamela Beckles in the No. 5 Supreme Court today.
He had previously admitted to having possession of a firearm as well as for unlawfully and maliciously engaging in conduct that placed Jeremy Young in danger of death of serious bodily harm on April 1, 2012.
“I am very sorrowful for my actions and I throw myself at the mercy of the court. I also apologise to my country, my family and . . . the victim . . . whom I have known for lots of years.
“[It] was a severe misunderstanding that led to anger, the anger led to a mistake and the mistake was this incident . . . . [I ask for] forgiveness . . . for myself. I ask from this court and the victim . . . I ask forgiveness from everyone concerned,” Smith told the judge.
Reading his written address, Smith, who is represented by attorney-at-law Sian Lange, went on to tell the judge that he was a father of three children the youngest who was now 12-years-old.
Smith also pointed to his own health battles.
“Madam Justice, I am a farmer by trade and many days my sweat and tears are . . . unto this sacred soil in the parish of St Joseph. Madam Justice, prison and the toils of life place an impact on my health…. I have deteriorated to a state where I need two operations. This is due to having a cyst and an abnormal growth and a hernia . . . . . Madam justice please have mercy on me,” Smith pleaded.
His attorney submitted that, while the crimes were “very serious”, her client had several mitigating factors that should be considered when imposing sentence, including his guilty plea.
“He does not pretend he is a perfect person [as he has a case] of short temperedness [and] at no time tried to deny that this situation was a mistake”.
Lange went on to say that Smith had been well behaved in prison and had “no incidents of violence while on remand”.
“The man before you is not the same man he was before…. He has had time to reflect and recognize the wrong that he has done,” Lange said, adding that Smith was cooperative with the police as well as with the probation department and was very forthcoming with information in relation to the offences.
The attorney also asked the judge to consider her client’s health when imposing the sentence as she revealed that he had to undergo two operations in February next year to remove a “herniated tumor on his prostate”.
She also pointed out that her client had spent some eight-and-a-half years in prison and submitted that Justice Beckles impose a sentence of time served.
But prosecutor Senior Crown Counsel Krystal Delaney said the defence lawyer was calculating the time spent on remand using the prison year system “but the court does not get involved with that”.
She submitted that Smith should be sentenced to nine years in prison for his crimes even as she pointed to a 1994 conviction for possession of a firearm and three past assaults committed by him.
Justice Beckles has adjourned the case for sentencing in November.