(BARBADOS TODAY) – Seven teenagers are now on remand after admitting to several criminal offences, including breaking and entering into the official residence of the Chief Justice of Barbados.
The lone 16-year-old in the group will spend 28-days at Dodds prison while a 13-year-old and five 14-year-olds will be housed at the Government Industrial School for that same period.
The teenagers are accused of using several “cliques” to commit the offences between May 21 and June 16.
Three of them pleaded guilty to entering the home of Charles Carrington as trespassers and stealing a tablet, $275 in cash, three cellular phones, a bottle of wine, a stove lighter, a bottle of aftershave and one cork screw opener totalling $915.
The trio also admitted to entering Sir Marston Gibson’s official residence with intent to steal, while five of them said they damaged two billboards worth $4, 230 belonging to the Barbados Amateur Swimming Association.
Six teens plead guilty to entering the ABC Fitness Studio Inc and stole several drinks and snacks as well as a life cycle display panel totaling $2,596.25 belonging to the company. Four of them said they entered the same establishment on another date and stole several items including drinks, popcorn, a pair of leggings and five wrist bands totaling $683 belonging to Kenneth Griffith.
The prosecutor Sergeant Cameron Gibbons objected to bail for the teens based on the seriousness of the charges and for the protection of society, as well as that of the young offenders.
“If granted is bail at this time they may repeat their actions and . . . if you show young people a path, they will keep away from that path,” Gibbons said.
However attorney Rhea Layne who represents the 13-year-old argued that her client had no prior convictions, never gave trouble at school, had a history of going to church and enjoys football. She further submitted that to incarcerate him at this time would derail his education and he was also remorseful.
“ It was simply getting involved with the wrong company,” Layne said.
However Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant pointed out that the use of the word “simply” was to downplay the gravity of the situation.
“They acted in numbers . . . also in different groups and different persons. So apart from the need to protect society we also need to try to protect these young persons and house them in an institution where we can assist in securing their future and instill some discipline in them,” the magistrate said.
She however pointed out that their early guilty pleas were to their credit “but they also have to learn that they have to respect other persons properties”.
“What does not belong to you, do not take up unless you ask or unless you are given,” she asked.
On those grounds she ruled in favour of the prosecutor and remanded the teenagers, triggering sobbing from several parents, while the teens remained dry eyed.
The facts of their criminal endeavours will be outlined when they return to the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court on July 17. They are also expected to know their fate at that time.