Renison Isaiah Prince admitted in court he was not himself that day on October 22, 2017, when he told police that God told him to “brek” 19 windows of the historic St Mary’s Anglican Church and a plant pot.
Appearing before a virtual sitting of the No. 2 Supreme Court, Prince, of Fairfield, Black Rock, told Justice Randall Worrell he was under the influence of drugs and confused.
He said: “Sir I was under the influence of drugs and other things. That wasn’t me that really did that damage to the church, I was confused. I was going through a lot. I would like to say I am very sorry for what I did.
“Jail give me like so much time to look into myself and where I was going wrong. I was on the wrong path and now I feel like I going on the right track, sir.”
The convicted man, who is known to the court for similar offences – six for criminal damage and four for theft – is said to suffer from schizoaffective disorder and cocaine and alcohol abuse.
In outlining the facts previously, Senior Crown Counsel Olivia Davis told the court that a witness who knows Prince said he heard glass breaking from the direction of the church and subsequently saw Prince jumping over the southern wall, covered in blood. The caretaker came in the next morning intending to open the church but instead discovered broken windows and debris and stones on the ground.
Prince, who was discovered with lacerations on his left forearm, was later arrested.
His lawyer Asante Brathwaite made sentencing submissions on his behalf. She told the court that Prince has been on remand for over three years now and believed the time he had served would meet the justice of his case.
In making that submission she noted the level and cost of the damage done to the church. He also has several convictions for criminal damage, she disclosed, but said in his favour was that no one was on the premises, no one was targeted or hurt, and that Prince had expressed remorse, pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and gave investigators his full cooperation during their probe.
Davis, the prosecutor, said that the crime was committed as a result of a combination of cocaine and alcohol use. Davis said the information showed that at the time Prince was “behaving erratically and not likely to be in control of his actions”. She pointed to the damage done by the rocks and plant pot used and the cost attached. It would cost the church an estimated $51,180 to repair and replace the windows.
“The convicted man needs serious help with his addiction,” the Crown prosecutor told the court, adding that an assessment showed that he was at a high risk of reoffending.
Given the crime, a starting sentence of six years in prison should be considered and the necessary deductions made could result in Prince getting a sentence of time served, she said.
But the senior crown counsel submitted that Prince should enrol in the drug and other rehabilitative programmes as recommended by the doctor’s report submitted to the court.
The sentencing phase of the case continues before Justice Worrell on May 14.