An attorney-at-law believes more needs to be done for the young people of this country.
Ryan Moseley made the comments today before the High Court as he mitigated on behalf of Travis Orin Campbell, of no fixed place of abode and Alexander Patrick Alleyne, of Ealing Grove Gardens, Christ Church.
The two have taken responsibility for aggravated burglary, use of an illegal firearm and wounding with intent.
They are the perpetrators who on February 22 last year, entered the Christ Church residence occupied by Canadian visitors Kenneth Elliot, his partner Linda Brooks, his brother Robert and sister-in-law Mary while masked and armed with a gun and cutlass.
Kenneth was shot in the upper body during the incident and is now paralysed.
Campbell on Monday expressed regret at the decision he made and asked the victims for forgiveness.
“We have got a serious problem in the country,” Moseley said, pointing to the state of unemployment in the country.
“We have to really, really as a country put some systems in place because there is a huge percentage of the younger generation that can see no way out except through crime. They just don’t see it. There is no path for their betterment.
“These two young men represent a large percentage of our society of people who are in their positions . . . . don’t know where their next meal is coming from . . .”
He added: “We have in the Penal Reform Act to rehabilitate but the truth is Her Majesty’s Prison Dodds is really more of a crime university than anything else and something has to change.
“Something has to change or else there will be more and more young men in this position and more lives ruined like the Elliots.
“We must do better for the young people of this country. Engage them, find out what they think is the path forward as well.
“The systems in place for them are not good enough and if we continue to ignore them and just focus on the economy, economy, economy we are going to find more and more of these things happening.”
Campbell had also told the court that he had “found” the illegal weapon at a party but Justice Laurie-Ann Smith-Bovell, who is adjudicating the case, asked where were the values that should be instilled in children from an early age.
“If it ain’t yours don’t bring it home . . .
See it, leave it and don’t bring them at me. It don’t belong to you carry it back where you get it from.
“Those values don’t exist any more? We as parents are clearly failing our children then,” she said.