Thursday, December 14, 2017

Magistrate urges young prisoner to turn life around

Four years in jail for gun charges


made arrests: Police Constables Larry Ramcharan and Robert Salina leave the Tunapuna Magistrates' Court on Wednesday. The two officers were among others who arrested four men in a car chase last year. —Photo: AYANNA KINSALE

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A TUNAPUNA magistrate advised a young man to use a four-year sentence in jail to turn his life around.

The advice was given to 20-year-old Karim Augustine of Point Fortin, south Trinidad, when he appeared before Tunapuna Magistrate Cheryl Ann-Blake, charged with the possession of two revolvers, a quantity of ammunition and driving without a driver's permit and insurance.

He appeared in court on Wednesday with two other men, Andre Campbell and Keron Frederick.

According to the charges, around 12.45 a.m. on December 31 last year, PCs Saldenha and Ramcharan, along with other officers of the Northern Division Task Force (South), were on patrol along the Southern Main Road in Curepe when they attempted to stop a white Nissan Almera with four occupants.

The driver, later identified as Augustine, did not stop but sped off.

During the chase, he stopped the car along the Southern Main Road. The police got out their vehicle and began walking towards the Almera when Augustine suddenly put the car in reverse and turned on to Farm Road, St Joseph, and sped off again.

The chase continued after and only ended when the Almera collided with a 12-seater red-band maxi-taxi along the Eastern Main Road, St Joseph, near the Eastern Credit Union.

Augustine, Campbell, Frederick and another man were detained following the crash.

One of the other suspects remained in stable condition at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope, and the police said as soon as he makes his recovery, he will be charged as well.

Augustine, who pleaded guilty, was told by the court that he had three other pending cases. During his plea, however, he told Magistrate Blake, "Them fellas (Campbell and Frederick) really had nothing to do with this."

But in response, the magistrate said the two other men still had to face the charges.

In passing sentence, the magistrate said, "At your age, you shouldn't be here because unlike times before you, young people have quite a lot of opportunities available to you, but yet still, some of you choose the gun."

He was sentenced to four years in jail for each of the two gun charges and nine months for the ammunition, as well as another nine months for driving without a permit and insurance. The sentences were ordered to run concurrently.

Campbell was granted bail in the sum of $300,000 to cover all charges while Frederick, who gave the court two addresses, was denied bail and was told he could apply to a judge in chambers for such.

The duo will reappear in court on January 30.