Ryan O’neal Wickham has been sentenced to ten years in prison for stealing 12 Toyota vehicles.
The 39-year-old, of Wellington Drive, Enterprise Coast Road, Christ Church was also sentenced to five years in prison for assault, occasioning actual bodily harm and five years for going equipped with instruments to steal.
The sentences will run concurrently.
However, Madam Justice Pamela Beckles gave the felon a one-third discount for his early guilty plea and credited him for the 771 days he had already spent on remand at Her Majesty’s Prisons Dodds in connection with the crimes.
That means Wickham has 1 662 days or four years, 202 days left to serve on the sentences.
Last year Wickham appeared before Justice Beckles and pleaded guilty to stealing the motorcars, which range in price from $10,000 to $49,000. The thefts were committed between 2016 and 2017, in the parishes of Christ Church, St Thomas, St James and St Peter.
Principal Crown Counsel Krystal Delaney told the No. 5 Supreme Court that in each case the owners secured their vehicles but returned the following day to find them missing.
With regards to going equipped with implements to steal, Wickham was not at his residence on June 23, 2017 when he was found with a drilling machine, a screwdriver, an ignition switch and an electrical plug.
He also assaulted and caused actual bodily harm to Greg Alleyne on that very day.
The known thief was trying to steal a motorcar belonging to Trevor Alleyne when a neighbour was alerted to a noise outside his bedroom window. When he looked out he saw Alleyne’s car rolling down the driveway, with no lights and one of the windows broken.
He went outside, confronted Wickham who ran away. He was pursued by Greg Alleyne whom he hit in the head with the drill he was carrying.
Alleyne wrestled Wickham to the ground and shouted to his neighbours to call the police. Some neighbours came to his assistance and together they apprehended Wickham, tying his feet with electrical wire until the police came.
In handing down the sentence via a Zoom hearing today while Wickham joined from Dodds, Justice Beckles pointed out that the convict had 45 previous convictions – 42 of them for theft, one for trespassing, one for assault and one for issuing threats.
A pre-sentencing report prepared by the Probation Department labelled him at a high risk of re-offending.
The judge told Wickham his crimes could only be dealt with by way of custodial sentence based on the nature and seriousness, the prevalence of such offences in our society and the “substantial” number of charges before the court.
“Your actions were premeditated in that you targeted a particular [model] of car. You armed yourself with the necessary tools to gain entrance to and to drive away the said vehicles. The offences were committed for financial gain, in some cases the vehicles were sold, some were recovered and some were not.
The magistrate also considered the impact and inconvenience these offences would have had on the complainants and the value of the properties stolen. The judge said she could find no mitigating factors as it relates to the offences.
A starting sentence of nine years was imposed on the car theft offences, five years for arming himself with the tools for theft and five years for the assault, to run concurrently.
Going in his favour however was his early guilty plea, his expression of remorse, acceptance of his criminal actions and his cooperation with police, which led to several of the vehicles being recovered.
Aggravating to him were his antecedents, which “show a propensity for committing these types of offences” and his high risk of re-offending.
“The aggravating factors clearly outweigh the mitigating factors and therefore . . . the starting point for the theft should be adjusted upward by a year,” the judge said which took the sentence to ten years on the theft charge. The other two offences remained at the five-year starting sentence.
“During your incarceration …you are ordered to enroll in and complete any available courses or programmes which will enable you to be better-equipped to gain gainful employment upon your release,” Justice Beckles said before closing the cases against Wickham.