Desperate to feed his cocaine addiction Andrew Tyrone Trotman said he turned to a life of crime and racked up over two dozen convictions.
Now the remorseful Haynes Hill, St John resident is before the No. 5 Supreme Court awaiting his fate on sacrilege and a charge of escaping custody.
“I am very sorry,” Trotman told Madam Justice Pamela Beckles today as he read from a prepared statement.
He had previously pleaded guilty to entering the James Street Methodist Church on July 12, 2015 and stealing several tools, including a power saw, drill, angle grinder, router, hammer and a tin of paint totalling $1 895.
He also admitted to escaping lawful custody from the District ‘A’ Police Station without using force, on July 13, 2015.
The convicted man, who is in his late 50s, explained that he had a tough time during his adolescence as his father was an alcoholic and was disrespectful and very abusive to his mother. He said the “years and years of such behaviour” resulted in him gravitating towards negative influences.
“I started to smoke marijuana constantly and after that I graduated to cocaine at 27 years old. The drug quickly consumed my mind and body and I began to commit random acts of theft to support my addiction,” he read adding that his mother pleaded with him to “relinquish” his friendships and seek professional assistance.
Trotman said: “I started to lose family support and genuine friendships because of my drug abuse which propelled me into a criminal lifestyle and recidivism.”
He went on to say that he believed he would benefit from a programme at Verdun House. However it was disclosed that he had been given that chance but breached the rules and was also given an opportunity to attend a programme at the Psychiatric Hospital, completed it, but relapsed right after.
Trotman’s attorney-at-law Safiya Moore submitted that her client wanted the help. In her submissions she told Justice Beckles that she believed that the four years that Trotman had spent on remand were adequate given his crimes.
Moore stated that the sacrilege offence was a “spur-of-the-moment thing”.
“He saw a window opened and entered, took up the tools . . . didn’t damage anything. The items were not artifacts of the church, they were tools of a worker which can be returned,” the attorney said as she put forward mitigating factors for her client.
Moore went on to say that when he “escaped” Trotman saw an opportunity and took it.
“He said the door was closed but not locked so he just walked through it . . . . there was no use of force, no weapon used,” she added.
The aggravating factors, she pointed out, were that according to the presentencing report, he was at a high risk of reoffending, he had a cocaine problem and that has led to his “numerous convictions” which numbered 35, most for theft.
“It’s our submission that time served is an adequate sentence,” she submitted.
However, Principal Crown Counsel Krystal Delaney said such a sentence would be “too lenient in this case” given Trotman’s antecedents as he had “to be incarcerated for the protection of society”.
The prosecutor added: “He has no self control, he can’t pass an open window . . . even that of a church.”
She then submitted that the starting point of 12 years in prison would suffice for the offence of sacrilege in the circumstances and five years for escaping police custody.
After hearing the submissions Justice Beckles adjourned the matter until November 29 when Trotman will be sentenced.