Judge wants harsher punishment for man with 51 convictions

June 10, 2022

A repeat felon who has 51 convictions may be headed to the Home Circuit Court to be sentenced after a senior parish judge suggested that sentence indications within the parish courts may be too limited for him.

Renford Soares, 44, was before Senior Parish Judge Lori-Anne Cole-Montaque yesterday in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court to be sentenced for two counts of obtaining money by false pretence, absconding bail, one count of larceny by trick and 15 counts of fraudulent conversion.

"Let me just reveal my judicial mind on this matter. You have 51 previous convictions, Sir. I do not intend to sentence you in this court. The view of this court at this time, having regard for the multiplicity of offences for which you have the previous convictions, you should be indicted in the Circuit Court for being a habitual offender. You're stretching outside the realm of the Parish Court," she said.

It was reported that Soares conned unsuspecting individuals of $15 million after posing as an employee of Kingston Wharves and Jamaica Customs Agency. The court heard previously that between 2017 and 2021, multiple complainants handed monies to Soares to purchase motor vehicles. In one instance, between January 25 and February 1, 2019, Soares received $915,000 from a complainant. It is further reported that in August 2019, Soares obtained $700,000 from another complainant.

Cole-Montaque instructed prosecutors to seek advice from the office of the Director of Public Prosecution to see if Soares' matters should be transferred to the higher jurisdiction.

"Because he has so many previous convictions, what I see here [on his antecedent records] he has served time of imprisonment of up to 18 months. It is the view of this court that 18 months is of no use to him. He needs to go to a court with a higher sentencing power in terms of jurisdiction," she said.

Soares was remanded in custody until September 6.

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