Jamaican / Canadian citizen pleads for second chance over passport forgery charges

(JAMAICA OBSERVER) A man who attempted to get a second passport in a fake name and was arrested at the airport while on his way to Bermuda left individuals inside the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court, including the judge, in awe after the eloquent manner in which he apologised and begged for a second chance.

The 39-year-old stocks trader, Patrick Muir, a Jamaican/Canadian citizen, was arrested at the Norman Manley International Airport on September 13, after he was detected by the facial recognition system as having applied for a passport in another name.

Muir was subsequently charged with false declaration and obtaining goods by false pretence.

On Friday when he appeared in court, Muir wasted no time in pleading guilty and quickly launched into his impressive speech which he had jotted down on piece of paper.

“I am not here today to defend my actions but to apologise to the court. I am 39 years old with no criminal record in this country,” he said.

“All I am hoping for today is to be judged by a system that is for the people and not against the people, a system that believes in rehabilitation before condemnation, a system that believes in second chances.

“Let me be the first to say that I made a mistake and upon realising that mistake, I did not return for the document in question and you will never see me here again,” Muir said in his defence to Chief Parish Judge Chester Crooks.

The judge, after listening, told Muir that his speech was a well put together plea in mitigation and that all that was missing was the reasons for his action.

“To travel is to live, and when I feel like my ability to travel was about to stop, I had to do something. But then I realised I made a mistake, “ Muir answered.

The judge, in sentencing him, then ordered that he pay $5,000 or serve three months for the false declaration and $95,000 or six months for the other charge.

Muir, before leaving the court, then enquired if the total amount was $100,000 and in what currency it should be paid, sparking laughter from the court.

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