The Star (Jamaica)

Judge says cell phone owners are under threat from thieves


Asenior parish judge on Tuesday vowed to send a strong message to phone robbers, who, she said, have been making the lives of people difficult.

“On every other day there is a robbery, with persons being robbed of their cell phones. We are peaking up, we are climbing up, so the court is going to have to respond to drop the peak. It looks like once you are a cell phone owner, you are under threat in this country, and everybody has a cell phone,” said Senior Parish Judge Lori-Anne Cole-Montaque.

The judge, who made the comment in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court, said that “people ‘fraid fi walk a road” because of the thieves.

Her comments came as defendants Jamar Allen, 18, and Alrick Gayle, 20, were brought before her, accused of robbing a schoolboy of his Samsung Galaxy cell phone. The boy was walking along Hamilton Drive, Trafalgar Park, in St Andrew when the incident occurred.

The men, who have been charged with robbery with aggravatio­n, told the judge that they were guilty of robbery, but denied that there were any aggravatin­g circumstan­ces.

Allen was then asked by the judge to demonstrat­e how they stole the student’s cell phone.

“Both of us were walking and the victim was like five feet ahead. I was on the left and he (Gayle) was on the right, and we just walked and cornered him. He was inbetween us. Nothing was said, we took the phone from the victim’s pocket and we both walked off. He didn’t try to defend it or anything,” Allen recounted.


Having received the explanatio­n, the judge said that she did not find it “strange or peculiar” that the complainan­t not resist as “a lot of persons are losing their lives over phones”.

“That is aggravatin­g in and of itself. Two persons on one. Just two persons going to one person is sufficient­ly aggravatin­g. The aggravatio­n is clear to my mind. Both of you, acting together, circling the complainan­t in the way that you did, obviously would have placed him under fear and intimidati­on. That is the aggravatio­n,” she said.

Cole-Montaque then remanded the men in custody until July 26, when they are expected to be sentenced. She has also requested social enquiry reports to assist her with the sentencing.

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