Tennyson Ricardo Nurse entered the homes of two elderly persons in 2015 and 2017 and stole over $15 000 in items. In one case he lunged at the 77-year-old complainant with a knife but the elderly man wrestled him and took the knife before he ran away.
Last week Justice Pamela Beckles sentenced Nurse, who already had 49 convictions to his name, to 13 years for the offences of aggravated burglary and burglary.
Nurse was charged with entering the home of Cicely Athill-Horsford and stealing BDS$6930, BDS$165, one television set, six bottles of body wash, three body lotions, one notebook computer, one laptop, one pack of soap, four chains and five pairs of earrings all valued at $15,436. He pleaded guilty to both offences.
Athill- Horsford is a minister of religion and reverend of Mount Tabor Moravian Church. On January 15, 2015 she returned home to find her house ransacked and items missing. Investigations led to Nurse as the perpetrator.
Nurse was also charged that on April 13, 2017, he entered the dwelling house of Whitfield Stuart and stole four tins of corned beef, four tins of tuna, three tins of hotdogs and luncheon meat. Nurse had a knife at the time of the illegal entry.
Stuart who was 77 years at the time, had left his residence at Wilson Hill, St John secured on that day, but when he returned, he noticed the back door opened, although he left it closed. Inside, he saw Nurse run out of the bedroom with a 12-inch knife in his hand. Nurse lunged at him and Stuart took up a cutlass to defend himself. The homeowner managed to wrestle the knife from Nurse and he ran away.
Nurse’s 49 prior convictions included some for burglary, theft, possession of cocaine, loitering and criminal damage.
A pre-sentencing report revealed that he had a stable upbringing despite the absence of his father. It also spoke of his marijuana use which developed into cocaine use. Nurse’s grandmother and mother blamed ‘bad company’ for their relative’s involvement in stealing and burglarizing homes.
The probation officer said Nurse left school at 16 without any certificates and described him as having literacy challenges.
Both victims expressed disappointment in Nurse and called for him to spend time in prison.
The aggravating factors in relation to the offences included the seriousness of the matters, his deliberate and premeditated actions, his reckless disregard for the stolen items, the effect of the incidents on the complainants’ lives and the disparity in ages between him and the complainants. Justice Pamela Beckles found no mitigating factors.
“[There is a] need to maintain public confidence in the administration of justice and [to recognize] the impact that these types of crimes have on the lives of hard-working individuals who toil everyday for what they want, only to have it taken from their very homes; invaded by criminal elements such as yourself,” Justice Beckles said before imposing sentence.
She considered 12 years an appropriate starting point for the aggravated burglary and 10 years for the burglary.
The High Court judge said the aggravating factors were his 49 previous convictions and the probation report’s suggestion that there was a high probability that he would re-offend. His early guilty plea and expression of remorse were considered mitigating.
The court said the aggravating factors outweighed the mitigating factors and added one year to the 12 years.
Nurse’s 165 days on remand and his one third discount for his early guilty plea were deducted from the 13 years. He will spend another five years, 77 days in prison in respect of the aggravated burglary and three years 77 days for the burglary. The sentences will run concurrently..
He was ordered to enroll in any available educational, skills or vocational programnes while at Dodds.