Magistrate Douglas Frederick today lamented the fact that there was nowhere other than prison he could send a troubled 16-year-old boy in need of an intervention.
He made the remark moments before remanding Rommell Omar Sirgeo Prentice to HMP Dodds, despite the accused teenager pleading not guilty to entering the dwelling house of his mother Natasha Prentice as a trespasser with the intent to steal on December 18.
The magistrate was initially startled when the teenager’s address was listed as no fixed place of abode on the charge sheet, which led him to enquire as to where he lived.
“Me and my mother does have arguments. We get way in November so I was sleeping by my cousin,” the accused revealed.
However, his mother gave the court a completely different story.
She said she had tried unsuccessfully to speak to her son, but he refused to listen.
She described him as someone “who didn’t have any feelings” and who “simply did not want to do anything”.
“All I talk he don’t do nothing, he don’t even want to bathe,” the frustrated mother said.
“I started a little business and Rommell started stealing the items. I told him if he can’t help around the place he has to leave and he left the same time. But since then he has been coming through the windows and taking up things. He want to do as he likes,” she maintained.
While disputing those facts, the teenager said he did not like how his mother spoke to him.
He said she called him names which made him feel like an idiot.
The magistrate, however, acknowledged that both parties needed an intervention.
He told the teenager – an aspiring chef – that he needed to take stock of his life.
“You need an intervention. You are a 16-year-old with a myriad of problems and you are on a path of self-destruction if you don’t get help.
“I would have preferred a halfway house to send you too instead of prison but there is nowhere else,” he said.
Magistrate Frederick also advised the distraught mother that she needed to change her approach to her son.
“You need a special approach. He would do the things but he doesn’t like when you speak to him in that manner. There are other methods to deal with him, we want to break this cycle,” he pointed out.
The magistrate then ordered a pre-sentencing report and remanded the accused into custody until January 28, 2020.