“That is totally wrong” – Fmr Chancellor reacts to youths being given ‘light’ sentence for armed robbery

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By Jomo Paul

Former Chancellor of the Judiciary,  Justice Cecil Kennard
Former Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Cecil Kennard

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Former Chancellor of the Judiciary, Cecil Kennard does not believe that the recent sentencing of two youths to 150 hours of Community service should go unchallenged, given the fact that they were charged with the offence of armed robbery.

Magistrate Judy Latchman ordered that 20 – year – old Darien Best and 21 – year – old Joel De Mendonca to perform six hours of community service for the next twenty-five Mondays along with a maximum period of counselling, as deemed fit by a probation officer.

De Mendonca was instructed to perform his community service at the National Library, while Best will be doing his at the Palms.

Failure to complete the sentences will result in them being imprisoned for 48 months. The two youngsters were charged and found guilty of robbing Golyn and Sons Fashion, on Regent Street, of a quantity of cell phones worth $8,968,000 on July 25, 2014.

The sentencing has already sparked a debate on social media with some persons questioning the rationale behind such a move, given that the charge is a serious one.

It should be noted that the maximum penalty for such an offence is life imprisonment. Many believe that the Magistrate passed down a light sentence to the duo, when it is known that she has imposed harsher sentences for similar offences.

Darien Best
Darien Best

Kennard, in an invited comment to iNews, made it clear that the Police Prosecutors should not accept this sentencing and should approach their seniors and the Director of Public Prosecutions to challenge it.

“The Prosecutors should speak to their seniors and their senior should speak to the DPP…that’s the best course,” said Kennard.

He further noted, “that is totally wrong” referring to the sentence handed to the two University of Guyana students.

On social media Best said that “I was honestly surprised at the sentence.” In July, Magistrate Latchman sentenced 19-year-old Ron Collins to 56 months in prison after he pleaded not guilty to armed robbery of a pair of sunglasses and a Blackberry smartphone collectively valued $166,000.

 

30 COMMENTS

  1. CRIME IS A MAJOR PROBLEM IN GUYANA THAT IS CAUSING MIGRATION OUT OF GUYANA IT ALSO KEEP MANY PEOPLE I KNOW FROM VISITING GUYANA THUS THE COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE LOOSE MILLIONS I WAS A VICTIM OF BREAK DOWN DOOR IN THE NIGHT I LOOSE MILLIONS AND MY LIFE IS NEVER THE SAME MY SISTER SUFFER THE SAME FATE MY BEST FRIEND SUFFERED THE SAME FATE JUST TWO MONTHS AGO HIM AND HIS FAMILY ALREADY LEFT THE COUNTRY ALL THESE PEOPLE ARE GOOD HARD WORKING HONEST THE MONEY IS NOT THE MAJOR PROBLEM YOU DO NOT WANT THE NIGHT TO COME EVERY NOISE IS MAGNIFIED AND YOUR LIFE BECOME VERY STRESSFUL AND YOUR GOALS BECOME CLEARLY UNCERTAIN PEOPLE WHO WENT THROUGH THIS WOULD UNDERSTAND THIEVES CAUGHT IN THE ACT WOULD FIRSTLY CONTEMPLATE TO KILL YOU

  2. You racist bastard subhan I never once supported the decision. But you are so ignorant you probably cant read and comprehend. These boys messed up their future and should pay like everyone who commits a serious crime. That_ you jackass has and continues to be my position. Where in any of what I wrote you see racism.

  3. Did you have a
    Negative c omment when ramotar released the child killer? These thugs had great examples from jagdeo and company. This is not about race. You twisted bastards. These are criminals who should receive the full force of the law

  4. i think it is wrong to let them get off so lightly what i think the goverment should do is go to the root of the problem and inpower the social ministry to check on all the background of these young men that robbing and killing people and the will see the pattern mostly young women making children with no proper jobs or future and the fathers not there for the children it is most likely that the will end up robbing and killing to get what the parents could not provide for them the grow up with a hate for others who have stuff i think the parents should be held accountable for their children by the law because its them who is making these children all around us and cant provide a family life the need to grow up with respect for the law and for others and loosing them on our children to robb and kill them is it not fair if you cant mind yourself how the hell will you be able to mind a child thus 70 % chance the will turn to crime and the cycle starts all over again if you dont agree with me just looking around town and you will see so many pregnant your women and older woman with no proper income ask yourself what lies in the future for the children and our children in their sights god help us if apnu cant the social ministry should monitor all pregnant woman and if all the signs are ok you pass if not you are a single mother before the baby even born or cant show where you will get money from to care for the child the ministry should take the child to insure it get a stable up bringing to prevent this future crime wave we know will continue.

  5. I am the one suffering the lost but what is more daunting is one of the robbers is related to Den Heart from the police force and other one is the step son of For TSU police West

  6. university of guyana teaching one to commit crime now.only the ones who lost know the pain and sufferings ,how can one service a loan when carries such a hugh lost?i bet this is the end to this case.

  7. YES YES! These bastards are now free from prison where ther could have experience and learned about colonoscopy for free

  8. They r on a trial run, they r not qualified as yet so go try again. They business people should start killing them

  9. U.G Students my foot. Was any confirmation done at the University Of Guyana to see if they are indeed students? Only a few weeks ago a car was searched and an unlicenced pistol was found. One of the occupants was a so called teacher at a Masjid was any confirmation done? I am sure he is on the road already waiting to pounce on a innocent hardworking citizen just like these two low life in a couple of weeks

  10. Note one of the surnames, Best. Is there a connection and could this be a possible explanation for the light sentence?

  11. 2 more released in addition to the 60 Granger set free. And we still want to know why crime is out of control. Where is Freddy? Where is Christopher Ram. Where is GHRa and transparency International?

  12. the law now is that once you are between the ages of 18-25, you can do any crime and you will be pardoned by his excellency the president of Guyana, 60 was released and no names were given or what were their “MINOR OFFENCES” committed.

  13. So this is how Guyana deals with armed robberies now? This is ridiculous! Someone commits a robbery, they go to jail for it! I’m thinking this a motivational tool for other youths to use when they’re just lazy and don’t want to work. Commit an armed robbery…do community service- no consequence there!

  14. Yes, all of what you said is true, but this is what I would like to know. Everyone has their piece that they would like the Government to do something about NOW. The Government has not been governing for 6 months as yet, but everyone is looking for miracles. If issues are not done in a focused manner, there will be no success. There must be priorities in order to succeed. Things cannot be done in a scattered manner and be successful. What I would like to see coming from all of us is a suggestion as to the priorities the Government should go with in order to move forward. There are too many fires to put out all at once.

  15. These 2 just join the recycling list,if we do not put a ZERO Tolerance on crimes the bull shit will only get worse. Too many victims are getting very little justice

  16. they are almost free, they should now break into the hose ofJudy,…..i am sure she will feel the pain………fire her!!!!!

  17. Does not make a difference,the President would have sent them home by Christmas,he already made it clear that young people does not belong in Jail,the PPP would have been given the blame for this if they were in power.

  18. GET RID OF THE MAGISTRATE THIS IS ARMED ROBBERY THESE LOWLIFE THIEVES WOULD DESTROY GUYANA IF GIVEN A CHANCE CHAOS IS WHAT THEY ARE TRYING TO CREATE

  19. THESE GUYS MAY HAVE STOLEN MANY TIMES BEFORE THEY ARE CAUGHT THIS IS A SERIOUS CRIME THAT KEEPS INVESTMENT OUT OF GUYANA JAIL THEM FOR AT LEAST 10 YEARS

  20. I am totally in agreement with the remarks made by the Former Chancellor of Judiciary Justice Cecil Kennard. If I may recall and I may subject to correction, that some time ago there is a law that passed for mandatory charges for illegal arms with a minimum sentencing of three years imprisonment and it was a non-bailable offence. I always wonder why many persons charged with illegal arms and robbery under arms got bail and in many cases the matter is dismissed. I am was also reading the article about the appealing of magistrates decision at the high court and the decisions by the magistrate is over-ruled by the Chief Justice.

    Any intellectual and sound minded person will find it wanting that Guyana Legal Systems including the Laws need a total overhaul. This is what our Parliamentarians should be looking at and addressing these shortfall to make Guyana a secure and safe environment which will encourage investors to invest in Guyana.

    The Parliamentarians should also seek to address the legal framework which will enhance the business environment with regards service delivery at the public and private level, consumers protection and redress, system to make Guyana businesses competitive, hence growth in the private sector.

    One would have think that the APNU+AFC Government ministers and parliamentarians would have headed in this direction but likewise, they ended up micro managing the economy like the PPP/C. It is time that Professionals being employed to deal with the administration of public entities and the Ministers and Parliamentarians address Policies to make Guyana a better place.

  21. Surprised in not the word! No one wants to see Young people with a promising future mess up their lives with a brainless decision. But that was their decision and I’m quite sure they were aware of the possible consequences prior to committing the crime. I’m assuming that these young men are not your run of the mill dummies they made it to University why jeopardize a promising future. The sentence is a gift if allowed to stand is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Others were sent to jail for less. Are there sentencing guidlines a magistrate must follow. If so some of these decisions have no bearing in law or logic.

  22. Indeed it’s totally wrong. They should be put in prison and let them have the counselling in there. What of the persons who they had at gun point? Think of all the trauma and psychological fear that they have experienced. I hope they also get some counselling. Those youths ought to be studying and working towards contributing meaningfully towards Guyana in later days. But instead they they are robbing hard working people. Not fair sentence my opinion.

  23. This is absolutely ridiculous. You break into people store and rob them and you get community service? What is wrong here? People must demand jail time for these criminals.

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