Habitual offender gets more jail time for handling

| 26/06/2012

Prison gate (232x300).jpg(CNS): Justice Charles Quin stretched a 20-year-old man’s existing jail time Monday when he handed down a three year sentence for handling stolen goods. The Grand Court judge ordered that Devon Wright should serve one year concurrently with his existing sentence for burglary but two of the three years would be consecutive with his current four year sentence meaning that two years will added to his time at HMP Northward. In his ruling the judge pointed out that Wright had a string of offences to his name, despite being only 20, and had committed this latest offence while on bail awaiting trial for another crime.

The judge noted that Wright did not appear to want to break from his habitual criminality but if he did not do so he was likely to spend most of his life in prison. Wright has eleven convictions recorded between 2009 and 2011, nine of which are for burglary, a previous conviction for handling stolen goods and one for damage to property.

Wright was convicted on this occasion after a judge alone trial in May of handling stolen goods but not guilty of two counts of burglary. The goods in question were two laptop computers with an estimated value of $1,890. With sentencing guidelines calling for a period of imprisonment for the offence between 12 months and four years, Wright’s previous convictions and persistent claims of innocence led the judge towardsthe three years he handed down.

The judge said Wright was described in the social enquiry report as bright and full of potential but was at a 100% risk of re-offending. The judge said the findings made for “depressing reading”. Justice Quin also noted  the young man’s drug habit as he said he had been smoking ganja since he was twelve years old and was smoking around 12 and 15 spliffs a day.

But the judge was most disturbed by the failure of Wright’s family to take an interest in the young man.

“What is particularly disturbing is that despite attempts to contact the defendant’s parents they could not be reached to verify or supplement any information,” the judge stated referring to the report undertaken by officials. “It has been said before but it still bears repeating: it is the apathy and total lack of concern for the welfare of their children that is one of the major reasons for the high level of serious crime committed by young persons over the last two or three years."

However, the judge added that Wright was now 20 years old and had to take responsibility for his own actions and, despite the best efforts of his lawyer, the defendant had not made  his task an easy one.

Speaking directly to the defendant after his ruling, the judge added that he should put his intelligence and talents identified by the social workers to better use and move away from his criminal behaviour.

As the young man looked away from the bench, the judge added, “Perhaps I’m wasting my breath.” 

Category: Crime

Comments (8)

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  1. The Parliamentarian says:

    The law does not render punishment harsh enough to deter criminals!  If the punishment was distasteful enough, the crimes would decrease.  If you knew the punishment for armed robbery was death, would you still practice armed robbery?  Personally I think the death penalty should be in effect for the more serious crimes, like murder, rape, kidnapping,child molestation….. you can add more if you like.  And here's something you cannot dispute:  The death penalty stops REPEAT OFFENDERS!!!

  2. CHECHE says:

    There is quite a correlation between crime levels and poverty. Most people get stuck in the cycle, although some have proven you do not have to a product of your circumstances. If it has been recognized that this a bright young man, why don't they put an emphasis on rehabilitating him and others that show the slightest glimpse of potential? Allowing them to feel that people have given up on them as they waste behind bars wont help, and it certainly won't help our society.

    “Perhaps I’m wasting my breath.” – Probably an unnecessary comment.

     

  3. Mrs. Evergreen says:

    With the "intelligence and talents identified by the social workers" its sad to hear that the first option we have for this young man is further incarceration. I do hope that in the near future Cayman will begin to create and make use of more rehabilitation programs and alternative sentencing options. These burglary and property offences are not what we really violent offences. In a sense I feel as though these persistant convitions are a cry for help. The lack of family support seems to showcase thisfurther. Dont get me wrong, it is evident that punishment is needed. With his high chance of recidivism, jail may be what this young man needs (a contained and secure facility), however without receiving proper treatment (perhaps mandatory anger management / drug counselling etc?) even four years down the line upon his release what will have been done to ensure he doesnt indeed become "likely to spend most of his life in prison" ?

    • anonymous says:

      As far as I can tell, there are little, if any training opportunies available at HMP. A "captive" audience teeming with young people. Surely we can do better.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don't understand how the upper people of England can allow MINORS to be in the same quarters with ADULTS!!! That is against every rule!!!

        • Anonymous says:

          He is 20 which is not classed as a minor, he is classed as an adult.  If he behave's like this on SEVERAL occasions he should be treated like an adult and serve his crime for his deed!!!! If more were caught and brought to justice they may think twice before doing it again!!!  The small minority of criminals on this island are giving us a bad reputation.

    • Frog Juice says:

      Don't be a soft do gooder.  The theiving scum love your type.  Jail.  Longer jail.  Nastier jail. More jail.  Our society is better with this type of pond life not in it.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The product of one of Cayman's career criminal families in one of the little ghettoes where no one has ever had a real job or education.  Fix that and most of the crime goes away. Please start now, you've already lost a generation.