Robert DaCosta Walker changed his plea to guilty today, two months after vehemently denying a robbery charge.
The 50-year-old, of No. 36 Seclusion Gardens, Black Rock, St Michael who was on remand to Dodds reappeared before Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sergeant and admitted to robbing Vincent Benn of a $40 chain on April 12 – Easter Sunday.
On his first appearance in mid April, Walker in an application for bail told Cuffy-Sargeant, “Ma’am, I don’t know much about this here but I know that I did not rob nobody. I charged for a chain for $40 . . . $40. Ma’am, I have jewelry home that the cheapest of my jewelry worth more than $40.
“Nobody never bring nobody in the police station and say that I rob them or nothing. I get charged for this robbery, for this man chain because a woman say that she saw somebody get in a vehicle that I was driving. Nobody ain’t come in the police station and identify me and say I rob he or nothing like that ma’am. And $40, a chain for $40 ma’am?”
Today, however, Station Sergeant Cameron Gibbons told the court that Benn was at his residence when he was robbed of the mentioned property. Walker was arrested when a description of the vehicle he was driving was given to police. Investigations took lawmen to Walker’s residence and the chain was recovered.
In mitigating on the convict’s behalf today attorney-at-law Shadia Simpson said her client was contrite and remorseful for the crime. She said that he had admitted to the crime just a little after two months of being charged and should be given credit for his guilty plea.
She explained that Walker was not the mastermind behind the robbery and was only the driver of the vehicle as there were others involved. She pointed out that his last conviction was in 2011.
But Magistrate Cuffy-Sargeant said, “I don’t agree, he has equal participation.
“He has a history that is not pretty . . . . He seems to operate on a time period and they are very serious. Every time he comes, he does not come every year but when he does it very serious, one of which ended before the High Court,” the magistrate said. Walker had convictions in 1994, 1996, 2002, 2004, 2011.
She added: “Do you know what it is to be a victim of a robbery, it’s a sudden attack of your person. It is not so much the value of what was taken but the attack on your person.”
But Simpson countered that the situation in which Walker found himself was one of being in the “wrong company at the wrong time”.
The magistrate replied: “He is 50 years old. You are speaking of experience. He is an experienced individual. Mr Walker is a serious man.”
The defence attorney however described Walkers case as “unfortunate” and said despite her client’s age it was one that he could learn from. She then urged the court to impose a sentence of time serve for the crime.
“That will be grossly unjust,” Magistrate Cuffy-Sargeant replied, before imposing a sentence of six months in prison.
The time Walker has spent on remand – two months and eight days – will be credited.