Public service vehicle (PSV) operator, Paul Dwight Alleyne, a repeat traffic offender known on the street as Bashment Monkey who has racked up over 270 convictions has been disqualified from driving route taxis for nine months effective immediately, the Court of Appeal ruled Wednesday.
A panel of appeal judges – Chief Justice Sir Patterson Cheltenham, Justice Rajendra Narine and Justice Francis Belle – handed down a unanimous decision after hearing submissions from Alleyne’s attorney Kristin Turton and Crown Counsel Danielle Mottley for the prosecution.
Alleyne, 43, from Eckstein Village, Tudor Bridge, appealed against the Commissioner of Police over the “severity of the sentence” imposed on him by a Bridgetown magistrate in connection with a traffic offence five years ago.
Appearing before Magistrate Graveney Bannister in the District ‘A’ Traffic Court on April 27, 2016, Alleyne pleaded guilty to being off route on August 2, 2015. The magistrate disqualified Alleyne from operating PSVs for 12 months. If he breached the order, he would spend three months in prison.
Justice Narine who delivered the appeal court’s decision said that the magistrate’s sentencing remarks pointed out that Alleyne had amassed 275 traffic convictions and continued to offend. In those circumstances, the appeal judge said, the magistrate thought a deterrent sentence was warranted, in a bid to discourage the appellant’s law-breaking.
But Justice Narine said although the magistrate appeared not to have “strictly” followed the proper approach to imposing sentence, the justices were “not of the view that he arrived at an inappropriate sentence at the end” given the peculiar factors of Alleyne’s case.
He said: “Clearly the appellant has shown a complete disregard for the rules of the road and the laws that apply to the driving of a public service vehicle and our view it was quite appropriate for the magistrate, in this case, to impose a sentence of disqualification.
“Unfortunately it has taken four years for the magistrate to give his reasons for his decision.”
The appellate court judge said the justices had to be guided by case law where the sentences were reduced to take into account the breach of the appellant’s constitutional rights to a fair trial within a reasonable time.
The Court of Appeal judge continued: “We are minded to reduce the period of disqualification imposed by the magistrate from . . .12 months to a period of nine months. In setting the period . . . we bear in mind that on previous occasions the appellant was sentenced to periods of suspension of six months and those sentences do not appear to have had any positive effect on the conduct of the appellant in obeying the rules of the road. So that in the result we will allow this appeal and we will vary the sentence of the magistrate.
“The appellant is disqualified from driving public service vehicles for a period of nine months and that period of disqualification will begin from today.”