Sentenced reduced due to guilty plea A 20-year-old Nevisian man was reduced to tears on Tuesday when he received a 15-year sentence for a burglary that netted him $12 and a cellphone. Akeem Foster, a young father, pleaded guilty to burglary when the Nevis Criminal Assizes began two weeks ago. At Tuesday’s (Apr 15) sentencing hearing Crown Counsel O’Neil Simpson lay out the details of the incident which occurred August 2, 2013. The prosecutor said Foster and another male broke into the home of Richard English at Craddock Road shortly after midnight. English was asleep in bed when the activities of the intruders in his room roused him. When he got up, they pushed him down and asked for money. When English said he did not have any, he received a gun butt to his head, Simpson revealed. The intruders held English and began searching other rooms in the house, demanding money from him. When he refused, he was repeatedly beaten, Simpson said. On one occasion, he was also beaten with a machete, which the men found in one of the rooms. They then demanded the keys to a parked vehicle outside. Finally the pair fled with $12, a cell phone, and a knife; leaving the victim badly bruised and immobile. Patrolling police officers noticed the suspicious activity when the men exited the house and gave chase. Foster was caught while other the person escaped. English took the stand and recounted the incident, adding that it has left him traumatized. “Since that night, I’m terribly shaken up and scared in my own home. “When someone beats you with a machete and puts a gun to your head, it’s not nice. It’s hard for me to get myself together,”he said. English further suggested to Justice Williams that ‘something be done to these kinds of guys”. In his defense, Foster told the court that he was forced by his friend to do the deed or his life would have been taken. He also said that he has changed since the incident, attending anger management classes and counselling every Wednesday. Foster begged her Ladyship for leniency. “Consider that my mum was the only one [who raised me], and my dad was in and out [of my life]. I was also abused and that led me on the wrong path,”he said. “I’m sorry for breaking in and assaulting him. I’m begging for a chance to be there for my child. I learned to be a mature man and I’m making progress day by day and I have learned a welding trade. Please help me to help myself.”Counsel Simpson explained to the court the egregiousness of the crime and why the sentence should be substantial. The level of violence, and the fact that it took place in what was supposed to be English’s sanctuary were just some of the mitigating factors highlighted in the prosecutor’s oration. “Not only was one weapon used, but two [a gun and a machete], and the assault was made more considerable with the second weapon, which was his own [English],”he said. “They beat him multiple times, and it cannot be overlooked that the attack was not done in public or in a gazebo but in his home.”Justice Williams described the assault on the homeowner as “horrific”. She spoke to the extreme nature of the crime and the responsibility owed to society. “What you did was horrific. You went into his house in the dead of night and beat him. In life we all have choices…You were 19 years old when you started your life of crime and I’m not going to be lenient on you [because] I have to protect society from people like you. Make someone of yourself,’the judge admonished. She sentenced him to 15 years in prison, but reduced his sentence by a third because he pled guilty. He will therefore serve 10 years for burglary in addition to the 3-year sentence he began serving in 2013 for the charge of assault. His time on remand would be taken into consideration and his sentences will run consecutively.
- Advertisement -