Man gets nine months for forgery
Senior Parish Judge Lori-Anne Cole-Montaque sentenced a man to nine months' imprisonment after he admitted to swindling almost $200,000 from a financial institution.
"I have to consider things on a macro level. I have to look how this crime affects the country and I have to make a deterrent effect," the judge warned.
"It is not $10 million and I take that for $178,000, in the grand scheme of things, maybe probation or community service in addition to the five months spent in custody, that should do," attorney-at-law Matthew Hyatt submitted in a plea mitigation on behalf of the defendant, Kevon Patrick.
Patrick pleaded guilty to forgery, uttering forged documents, obtaining credit by means of false pretences, facilitating the commission of an offence and conspiracy to defraud. He has been in custody for the past five months, but Hyatt tried to have his client freed from the penal system.
According to Patrick's criminal record, he has four previous convictions and has spent time behind bars, with his longest stretch behind bars being a year and eight months.
"Your Honour, we all know of the conditions of the prisons. It's so hot and there is no proper ventilation. I don't know how they manage and he has been in there for five months," Hyatt submitted.
But the judge indicated that a period of imprisonment was necessary.
"I am of the view that you need a combination type sentence that not only reflects the seriousness of the offences but also takes into account the time you have spent in custody. I don't think you need a very long time," Judge Cole-Montaque said.
On the count of forgery, he was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment, but was discounted for five months already spent in custody. For the counts of uttering forged documents and obtaining credit by means of false pretences, the judge saw it fit to impose a suspended sentence.
"I am of the view that as you transition out, I think you may need some assistance from the probation office. The sentence must reflect the severity of what you have done. So for the counts uttering forged documents and obtaining credit by means of false pretences, the sentence for each is nine months' imprisonment at hard labour suspended for three years, and first two years is to be with supervision," the judge said.
Patrick was admonished and discharged on the counts of facilitating the commission of an offence and conspiracy to defraud.
"Thank you," Patrick uttered, before heaving a heavy sigh as he was whisked away from the courtroom.