Drug addict jailed for toy gun stick-ups

A self-confessed “crackhead,” who used a toy gun to rob two persons he had begged for money, has been jailed for six months.

John Martin, 40, of 48 Leopold Street, was sentenced yesterday by city magistrate Fabayo Azore after pleading guilty to two counts of armed robbery.

He admitted that on August 20, at Georgetown, being armed with a gun, he robbed Manuel Sammy of$6,400. He also admitted that on the same day he robbed Monique Vossey of a $12,000 cell phone.

John Martin
John Martin

“Guilty meh worship, yeh I do it,” Martin, who said he was a clothes vendor/painter, calmly declared after the charges were read to him.

The unrepresented man said that he had found the toy gun the night before he committed the robberies.

Prosecutor Adduni Inniss told the court that Sammy was proceeding along Water Street when Martin approached him and pointed the toy gun at him and demanded cash.

The court then heard that Martin relieved Sammy of $6,400 and made good his escape.

Inniss said that sometime after, Martin then exited a bus in which Vossey was a passenger and after begging her for money, pointed the toy gun at her and snatched her cellphone before escaping.

Addressing the court, Martin said he became angry when he exited a minibus in which Vossey was also a passenger and she gave him only $100 after he asked for money.

“I beg she fuh a raise and she give me a $100; and I just get vex and snatch she phone,” he said as a visibly-shocked Magistrate Azore and other persons in the packed courtroom listened to his account.

“Imagine I begging she and early in the morning is only a hundred she wan give me, when I know she had mo money. I just geh vex and show she the gun and snatch she phone,” he added. “Is unfair fuh she want give me $100 that early in the morning.”

Martin said that he had begged Sammy too for money but he had refused to give him saying he had none.

Martin said he responded to the man by saying, “y’all does want mek people stupid nah.”

The defendant explained that he knew that Sammy must have had cash on him and so decided to brandish the toy gun and was successfully able to relieve him of $6,400.

“I’s a crackhead and me in geh no family or nobody meh worship,” Martin told the court. “But they [the complainants] get back everything, deh money and phones and everything. Is only I lose, ’cause me in get nobody,” Martin lamented.

Martin earlier appeared to be visibly tired and nodded constantly in the prisoners’ docks and at one point even lay on the bench as he slept, while asking the only other prisoner seated with him at the time to shift down so that he could lie and sleep.

It wasn’t long before the orderly firmly upbraided him to sit up.

When his matter was called sometime after, Martin was again nodding and stood up only after the orderly walked over to him and ordered him to stand and pay attention as his matter was about to be heard.

Begging for mercy just before sentence was handed down, Martin asked the magistrate to “See with meh in meh situation, nah meh worship? Ah begging for lenience. See wah yuh could do fuh meh.”

Magistrate Azore told Martin that she would send him to prison to “sit down a little bit” given his situation.

She then imposed a six-month sentence on each charge and explained to Martin who expressed gratitude for the court’s mercy that his sentences will run concurrently.

“Thank you meh worship, and have a nice day;” Martin said after being sentenced.

In ruling, the magistrate said that she considered both the mitigating and aggravating circumstances. In mitigation she said the court took into account that the defendant pleaded guilty at the first given opportunity, saving time in otherwise having to conduct a trial.

The court noted too that it was good that it was not a real gun that was used but pointed out that this made the offence no less serious.

Listing the aggravating circumstances, however, the magistrate noted that Martin had recently been released from prison after serving time for a similar offence, as the prosecutor had noted.


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