Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant today gave Kerry Wendell Mason’s son the “perfect Christmas gift”.
After being on remand for the past 15 days, he was released without a conviction being recorded against him and allowed to go home to his five-year-old son following an impassioned bail application from his lawyer, Queen’s Counsel Michael Lashley appearing in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court.
The 38-year-old musician of Bayfield, St. Philip, had been remanded to HMP Dodds until the new year by Cuffy-Sargeant after pleading guilty to loitering on the premises of Lobster Alive on December 4, 2018, where there was cause to suspect he was about to commit an offence in malicious communication.
Mason was held after he put his hand through a female bathroom window and used his cellphone to record a tourist as she used the toilet at Lobster Alive.
Lashley gave the court several reasons why his client should be granted bail among them that he did not waste the court’s time and had immediately pleaded guilty, he had no previous convictions and was “profoundly remorseful” for his actions. But it was the last reason, that his son was now left in his grandmother’s care after his wife was hospitalized, that touched the magistrate.
Appearing in association with Dayna Taylor-Lavine and Khadisha Wickham, Lashley revealed to the court that Mason’s wife had been admitted.
“He is married and has a five-year-old son and it would be remiss of me not to mention a sad situation which has occurred within his family,” Lashley said. “Since he has been remanded his wife has been incarcerated at the Psychiatric Hospital leaving the grandmother to care for the young child.
“This child would like to be like any other child on December 25, spending time with his father and mother or at least one of them. And he would like the opportunity to be there with his son in his loving arms. That would be the perfect Christmas gift,” he added.
Describing Mason’s actions as uncharacteristic, Lashley also said he was an outstanding person in the community and an exceptional musician, a keyboardist at his church which he attended every Sunday. Lashley asked that the court “temper justice with mercy” and give his client an opportunity to redeem himself.
Before handing down her decision Magistrate Cuffy-Sargeant lauded Mason for entering an early guilty plea and praised him for giving back to the community through the church.
But it was his unfortunate family situation which drew her sympathy.
“The court sympathizes with you on your family situation and would not want to deprive your five-year-old,” she said. “If you promise me that you will not return to this court or any other court I will reprimand and discharge you. That is the court’s gift to your son,” the magistrate added.