No criminal sanction against student who burglarized Georgetown Police Station

No criminal sanction against student who burglarized Georgetown Police Station

Sixteen year old Kevin Stapleton, a Form 3 student at Bishop’s College Kingstown (BCK), has been given a chance
to redeem himself as Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett has not imposed any criminal sanction on him after he
pleaded guilty to burglarizing the Georgetown Police Station.
After hearing the facts and circumstances of the offence presented by the prosecution, and listened to mitigating
factors by lawyer Kay Bacchus-Baptiste, the school’s principal Cecelia Akers-King and a counselor from the school
and social workers from the Liberty Lodge Boys Training Centre, the Senior Magistrate ordered that Stapleton
receive counseling at the school for a period of one year.

Cecil Akers and School counseler

He ordered that reports be prepared and submitted to the court at the end of the first six months (in April 2019) and at the end of the 12 months (in October 2019).
The Bishop’s College Kingstown principal was requested by the Senior Magistrate to attend court on Monday so
that she may be of assistance to the court in the sentencing. When the principal took to the stand as a character
witness, she was joined by the school’s counselor, a current and a former social worker at the Liberty Lodge Boys
Training Centre. They all expressed surprise about Stapleton’s breaking into the Georgetown Police Station with
17 year old Shamore James of Georgetown.

The principal and the counselors said Stapleton is well-behaved.
Stapleton was charged jointly last week with 17 year old Shamore James of Georgetown and they both pleaded
guilty to breaking into the Georgetown Police station between 2 a.m and 5.25 a.m. on October 22nd, 2018, and
stealing 2 motor cycles and a pedal cycle which were inside the station. They were ordered then to return to court
last Monday.
The court heard that Stapleton is not a rude person but lacks parental guidance. The social workers from the
Liberty Lodge Boys Training Centre said he lived at the Catholic-run home in Georgetown and Sister Zita took him
to the Liberty Lodge Training Centre because she had some problems with him. They however said he had respect
for authority.
Prominent lawyer Kay Bacchus-Baptiste, acting as a friend of the court, said that the 3 cycles they took from the
police station belonged to them and they thought they had a right to them. She said that they did not break into the
police state for the sake of breaking in. She said they were only interested in getting back the bikes police had
seized from them. She, however, noted that they should have done the right thing to get back their bikes.
“They should have taken the right course,” Bacchus-Baptiste said.
James was sentenced to one year in prison for the offense.
For the previous break-in, he had a sentence of one year which was suspended for one year. As a result of last
week’s burglary, the previous sentence was activated and he will now serve the first one year sentence in addition to the
second one. They are to run consecutively.