(CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS)- Freedom ran out for 26 year old Jermie Jeffers after he was sentenced by her Ladyship Justice Lorraine Williams at the Charlestown High Court on Tuesday, November 25, 2014.
The Cotton Ground resident will spend the next 18 months locked away at Her Majesty’s Prison, St. Kitts after he pleaded guilty to breaking the dwelling house of Wendy Elliot in Colquhouns Estate and stealing goods and monies valued to a total of $11, 856.13 Eastern Currency Dollars.
The facts as brought out in Court indicated that on November 18, 2013 sometime between 8:00 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. the defendant broke into Elliot’s home through a window and stole the goods. The defendant was arrested and was later granted bail. When the matter was brought before the High Court in Charlestown for trial in the November Criminal Assizes on Monday, November 10 2014, Jeffers pleaded guilty.
In his mitigation to the court, Attorney John Cato asked the court to be lenient to his client. He stated that on his client’s very first opportunity, he took full responsibility for what he did and he even tried to tender an apology to the virtual complainant (VC).
Cato told the learned Judge that the law grants the court the discretion to tailor any sentence to satisfy the society and the accused. He further stated to the court that his client has always been steadily and gainfully employed and there was nothing in his report to indicate that he would commit the offense again.
Cato further highlighted that Jeffers is only minimally known to the court. His first offense was seven (7) years ago when the accused was charged with a minor offense of wounding. He further stated that Jeffers was not charged with burglary, since he committed the offense at a time when the virtual complainant was not at home.
“I am not saying that this makes it right but I’m saying this helps to mitigate the seriousness of the offense”, he said. According to the Attorney, the reason why Jeffers broke into the VC’s home was immature and foolish.
“Someone told a lie on him, he got upset and broke into the VC’s home? I find this to be very disturbing”, Justice Williams said.
“He broke into someone’s space and privacy. He is not 10 or 15 years. He is 26 so you can’t tell me he is immature”, she further commented.
The DDP called the VC, Wendy Elliot to express her feelings in the matter. Elliot told the court that she felt violated. She said that Jermie who was her neighbor and he had violated her trust and good will. She stated that she felt a sense of sorrow for the family of the accused because she knew them very well. She expressed that she was still trying to grasp what had happened.
Justice Williams told the court that she has to fit a punishment according to the crime. She stated that the society frowns on this kind of behavior.
“He broke into someone’s home through a window. I think this deserves a custodial sentence especially after hearing from the VC”, the judge said.
Jeffers was then sentenced to seven (7) years. Jeffers sighed loudly from the prisoner’s dock when the sentence was announced. However, for his guilty plea 1/3 of the time was deducted. Time was also subtracted for the strong mitigating factors put forward on his behalf by Attorney Cato.
In the end Jeffers will spend only 18 months at Her Majesty’s Prison. He is also to compensate Elliot $5000.00 in 6 months after he has served his sentence. If he defaults, he would then serve six (6) months imprisonment.