Two natives of the neighbouring US Virgin Islands have been sentenced respectively to three years, and three-and-half years in prison for robbing a contractor at gunpoint last year on Tortola, British Virgin Islands.
Shaqkil Roberts and Shamori Richardson were sentenced after they pleaded guilty when they appeared before Justice Nicola Byer this month.
The judge said she slapped 23-year-old Roberts with a higher sentence because, unlike Richardson, he did not accept guilt at the ‘earliest available opportunity’.
The court heard that, before Richardson appeared before the judge, he wrote to the court and expressed remorse as well as a willingness to confess. He was still in police custody at the time.
Meanwhile, in making her submissions to the court, Principal Crown Counsel Tiffany Scatliffe-Esprit described the crime as a street robbery.
“While it is less sophisticated, there was some amount of planning in the matter,” she said, adding that the complainant in the matter suffered psychological trauma after the crime.
According to the victim impact statement, which was read in court, the complainant said: “I had a long spell of nightmares and sleepless nights… It was hard for me; real terrifying.”
The court was asked to take those issues into consideration when sentencing the offenders.
The prosecution stated that, on June 16 last year, the complainant, who is a contractor, went to work at a construction site at Gene Hill, Tortola.
He was doing paperwork in his vehicle about 1:45pm, when the gunmen pounced upon him.
“Gimme your money,” the masked assailant demanded.
The complainant then handed over $509 to the gunman who responded: “The money you have to pay these guys, give it to me.”
The gunman then searched a section of the vehicle. While he was searching, an apparently older gunman appeared near the car.
The older gunman entered the vehicle at the back passenger side, and searched for cash before he and his accomplice fled the scene.
The matter was reported to the Royal Virgin Islands Police.
Investigators eventually arrested and charged Richardson, who was 28 years old at the time. Roberts was arrested and charged later.
Richardson was represented by attorney-at-law Valerie Stephens-Gordon, while Roberts was represented by Stephen Daniels.
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