A man who admitted to burglaries and other serious matters, asked the court to give him a chance to be a better role model for his daughter.
This request came from Leopold Alexander Scantlebury, 35 of Orange Hill, St James, as he addressed the court prior to his sentencing.
He admitted to burglarizing Sol Redman Village gas station and stealing $1804 belonging to Karrie Maycock. He had a firearm at the time. He also admitted to having four rounds of ammunition, stealing guns and other items from A&C Security, wounding, burglarising Tapas and stealing $2400 while having a knife. All the matters occurred between August and September 2015.
Scantlebury said he had a lot of time to reflect on his mistakes and was now “closer to his spiritual self”.
“I see the younger generation come in here… and it’s a dead-end. I would love the opportunity to make amends,” Scantlebury told the court.
The young man further stated that his hands were tied in prison and every day that passed he reflected and prayed.
His reflections have led him to a well thought-out plan after his release from prison which involves going into partnership with his mother who owns a snack and bar establishment. He expects to expand the business by adding a bakery and making his mother the “manager” while he becomes the “engineer”.
By becoming involved in this business venture, he wants his daughter to see him as a productive and honest person, he said. Scantlebury explained that though he couldn’t blame his father’s absence for his actions, he said it did affect him.
The convict told the court that he never understood how his father chose drugs over him saying that up to this day he was still just a “phantom” in his life. He asked the court for a second chance to be with his daughter and family.
In mitigating, Angella Mitchell-Gittens spoke of Scantlebury’s enrollment in inspirational classes in the prison. He said he was a group leader in the classes where he tries to “inspire” others. She indicated that her client had come to a realisation and was now at a “pre-contemplative stage of his life”.
She, however, said the seriousness of the matters before the court could not be downplayed. The aggravating factors outlined included use of a firearm where persons were present and his several previous convictions.
She alluded to a troubled early life. Scantlebury’s mother was 14 when she had him and his father, as he stated, was absent.
The lawyer said all hope was not lost, highlighting certain mitigating factors like his guilty plea and expression of remorse in the presence of the complainants.
She suggested that Scantlebury could benefit from “rehabilitation and the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to society”.
Crown Counsel Olivia Davis suggested custodial sentences for the offences. Weighing on the aggravating factors, she spoke of the individual offences.
She highlighted the violence carried out at Tapas restaurant where a member of staff was stabbed and the firearm used during the robbery at the gas station. The planning and coordination for the crimes and previous convictions of a similar nature were also considered.
Davis drew on example of another case suggesting that a 12-year sentence was appropriate for aggravated burglaries and said the starting point for the ammunition matter should be eight years.
Sentencing will be next Friday in the No. 2 Supreme Court. Scantlebury has already spent 1822 days on remand.