By Ketricia Finch

St. Kitts Reporter

On Wednesday morning at the Basseterre Magistrate’s Court Phillip Francis was sentenced for receiving a CD player.

He pleaded to the court: “I am asking for you to have some mercy on me. I would prefer a fine, not to put my life behind bars. I was already remanded for 10 months.”

Judge Francis Belle told Francis that the court operates very harshly on on charges of receiving.

“Receiving is very serious…You already have a record for larceny. The court would not give you a fine.”

The judge said Francis’ record shows that he was convicted for larceny 10 years ago.

“Why do you choose to get back into that type of life?” Judge Belle asked.

“You have been given two breaks already. The indication is that you have not really learned a lesson.”

Judge Belle also asked Francis if he has a drug problem.

“I had one but I’m already over it,” Francis replied.

“I think jail is the best place for you right now. I hope that you can’t get access to drugs in there. Drugs is not an excuse, it’s a cause. It makes you behave how you do,” Belle said.

“While you are there, you can get treatment for free.”

Judge Belle told Francis that if he contested to the court that he made an error and he is sorry for his wrong-doing, he would’ve been better off.

After all this, Belle sentenced Francis to serve 3 years imprisonment with hard labour.

On the same morning, several persons’ dates for trial were set.

Ovan Liddie had no lawyer representing him. He was ordered to return to court on March 7 for trial. Darnelle Govia was ordered to come back to court on Tuesday March 27 for trial. Lawyer Heskeith Benjamin represented him in court. Govia’s bail will be extended until his trial.

Chevis Syder was ordered to return to court on the same day as Liddie for trial. Judge Francis Belle told Syder that his bail will also be extended until his day of trial.

Kevin Huggins’ trial date was set to be on Wednesday March 28, 2007. He was told to remain in custody until that day.

Glenville Maynard and Raul Benjamin were told to come back to court on March 28 as well for their cases to be tried. Judge Belle told Benjamin that his bail would continue until the day of the trial. Maynard will be remanded in custody until that date.

Ensley Wilkin was ordered to return to court on March 28, 2007 for trial. Wilkin was previously charged for incest and indecent assault of his 14-year-old daughter, committed between 1-31 of January 2003 at St. Johnson’s Village. Wilkin’s bail will continue until the date of trial.

Ian Samuel’s trial was supposed to begin that morning but the prosecution said they weren’t able to contact all of the witnesses. The prosecution asked for Samuel’s trial to be on the nineteenth of next month instead. The judge told Samuel that he would be remanded in custody until the day of his trial.