The Barbados Vagrants and Homeless Society (BVHS) will not be welcoming any of the two young men who were reprimanded by Chief Magistrate Christopher Birch on Monday for stoning and chasing homeless drug addicts on Broad Street, to do their community service at the organization.
BVHS President Kemar Saffrey told Barbados TODAY that while he thanked Chief Magistrate Birch for the tongue-lashing and punishment he administered to the two St Michael teenagers “we do not want them at BVHS to do any community service”.
“We have been contacted as it relates to these guys serving their community service with the Barbados Vagrants & Homeless Society and we would like to let the public know that we do not want them to serve any of their community service with the organization at any level, whether it would be to feed them as people have been posting and asking . . .No, we don’t want these guys around. They must learn their lesson and they must learn their lesson from somewhere else.
“They could be given a task to do somewhere else. We just hope that these guys learn their lesson and that those culprits, or those looking to be culprits themselves would learn from this lesson. There are organisations like BVHS and the members of the Royal Barbados Police Force that are here to look after the well-being of the homeless,” Saffrey said.
Magistrate Birch referred to 16-year-old Jahem Magline Loftis Campbell, of 8th Avenue New Orleans and 17-year-old Reschad Domon Decorney Carrington, of 3rd Avenue, New Orleans admitted to throwing stones on June 29 which were likely to cause injury to a passenger where the public is allowed to assemble and pass, as cowards for picking on those who cannot help themselves.
Magistrate Birch also told the young men that they have no heart, and pointed out that instead of looking to help people they were seeking to make their lives harder.
The Chief Magistrate sentenced Carrington to 240 hours of community service and advised him that he would be assigned “somewhere that you can help these people”. A pre-sentencing report has been ordered on Campbell.
The two were also placed on a daily 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew and banned from Bridgetown and all Crop Over events.
Saffrey also told Barbados TODAY that police should also be commended for swiftly responding to reports that a group of people were stoning and chasing vagrants along The City’s main thoroughfare, and for apprehending Campbell and Carrington who admitted to being involved in carrying out the act.
The President noted that way too often he received complaints from the homeless regarding members of the public abusing them.
He said one client was left traumatised after he was beaten about the body with a wood.
Saffrey said though many of the cases were not reported to Police because the abused do not believe that the law would take them seriously, he wanted the public to be advised that BVHS was now pushing its clients to file complaints “because we can get them legal support”.
“I am satisfied that the way in which this case was handled shows that the law would not accept people beating and abusing these vulnerable persons in society. I definitely want to commend Magistrate Christopher Birch on the stance that he took as it relates to these gentlemen that would have gone out bullying and harassing the homeless,” Saffrey said.
“I also want to commend the Royal Barbados Police Force for their swift action, and also for reprimanding and putting these guys before the court. We hope that every single one of the guys that was apart of this act be brought to justice.
“The Barbados Vagrants and Homeless Society does not condone any sort of abuse on the homeless on any level, or for any reason whatsoever. Abusing the homeless is simply wrong, and we would not be tolerating it,” he added.