Former Immigration Officer Donald Hanley admitted to the court that he opted to rob an unsuspecting female of $800 because he needed the cash to pay the bank.
The 36-year-old Virgin Gorda resident appeared before Justice Ann-Marie Smith on Monday for his final court appearance before his sentencing hearing on June 3.
When asked why he chose to steal instead of reaching out to his family for help, Hanley told the court through his attorney Patrick Thompson that he wanted to handle the situation on his own.
He said he did not want to burden his family with his troubles because they had responsibilities of their own.
What the court heard happened
The court heard that in March last year, Hanley went to his mother’s apartment which is close to where the complainant lived.
While there, he changed into dark clothing and using a cloth, he covered his face and laid in wait.
The court heard that the complainant was almost home when he pounced on her and snatched her bag.
A scuffle ensued between the two, and the complainant was able to remove Hanley’s disguise before he ran off with her bag containing the cash.
Hanley’s girlfriend then provided him with a ride home.
A report was subsequently made to the police and Hanley was arrested and charged for the offence.
Factors of the offence
Ahead of sentencing, the court was told to consider Hanley’s early guilty plea, his remorse, his corporation with police, and his willingness to compensate the complainant as mitigating factors.
On the other hand, Hanley’s previous conviction of a similar crime, the planning and premeditation, committing the offence for financial gain, concealing his face, and targeting a particular person were some of the aggravating factors of the case, the court heard.
His attorney, however, argued that Hanley was of previous good character and the offence fell on the lower end of the culpability scale.
The attorney further said no weapon was used during the commission of the crime.
Hanley remains in custody.
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