(CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS)– “I am truly sorry for my actions and the harm I have done” stated nineteen year old Saleam Chiverton who appeared before the Charlestown High Court on Thursday, November 20, 2014 for sentencing.
The accused pleaded guilty earlier in the assizes of robbing Nelson Boland on April 1, 2013 at Clay Ghaut, Gingerland of $90.00 E.C. and a gold chain and pendant valued at $10,000.00 E.C.
The teenager sat in the docket nervously rubbing his hands together as his Attorney, John Cato pleaded to Her Ladyship Justice Lorraine Williams as to why his client deserved a light sentence.
Cato argued vigorously to the learned Judge. Cato stated that his client had pleaded guilty to a very serious offense. He said that the accused admitted that he had masked his identity and robbed his friend, Nelson Boland of $90.00 E.C. and a gold chain valued at $10,000.00 E.C. He argued that at the time of the incident Chiverton had just turned 18 and he barely had a chance in life.
According to Cato, the defendant had a rough childhood, and he had been living on charity and friends most of his life. He said that his mother had been a terrible influence in his life. The Attorney was of the opinion that the continuous shifting to different schools between St. Kitts and Nevis had also contributed to his failure in life.
Attorney Cato further stated that his client has been remanded for 18 months for the offense. He stated that the accused was remanded by the police because according to him, Chiverton did not see a Magistrate until 14 months after being incarcerated. Cato told the court that based on information he received, the Magistrate was unaware of the fact that the accused was remanded.
In an effort for a lesser custodial sentence Cato said, “This court has the jurisdiction to make a number of decisions. The court can look to see if the accused deserves a second chance. The offense carries the maximum of 20 years. He has been incarcerated for 18 months and he has done everything that is necessary for the court to see that he can turn his life around from crime”.
Cato also argued that this was the first time that Chiverton had appeared before the court.
The defendant’s father, Everton Samuel also spoke on his son’s behalf. He promised the court that he was willing do whatever it takes so that his son could turn his life around. He begged the court to be lenient.
In addressing the court, Justice Williams stated, “We all have free will and we all have choices. We either choose to do good, or you we choose to do bad but whatever we choose it comes with consequences”.
The Judge stated that the defendant had committed a very serious crime. She stated that every week in St. Kitts and Nevis one hears about crime. “I have to protect the society. I can’t let people think they can commit a crime and get away with it. I am torn. I am really torn because he is a young man. He could have chosen a better life”, she stated.
Justice Williams then sentenced Chiverton to 8 years in prison. However, she discounted 1/3 for his guilty plea, 12 months for his strong mitigating factors and 18 months for the time he has already served. She also ordered a restitution of $90.00. This means that Chiverton may only spend only two years and six months in prison.
The learned Judge advised the defendant that when he is released from prison to make a positive turn around. She also advised him not to follow bad company or he would only end up back in prison.
“I was very lenient on you. The maximum is 20 years”, she concluded.