By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MAN initially standing trial in the Supreme Court, along with another, was sentenced to nine years in prison yesterday after he pleaded guilty to a gold chain armed robbery.
Alexis Bain, 29, of Eastwood Estates, told his counsel Algernon Allen Jr that he wished to take a certain course of action concerning the charges of armed robbery, possession of an unlicensed firearm and possession of ammunition.
Following an almost two-hour long closed discussion between counsel and Justice Indra Charles in the absence of the jury, the jury returned to the courtroom where the charges were re-read to the court and Bain pleaded guilty to all of them.
Justice Charles then directed the jury, who had been empanelled on Tuesday, to hand down a unanimous guilty verdict with respect to the three charges.
Crown prosecutors Eucal Bonaby and Kevin Farrington then indicated to the court that based on the evidence of the case and in the circumstances, they would not be offering any further evidence against 21-year-old co-accused Craig Taylor of Peardale Road.
The judge then directed the jury to acquit Taylor on the same charges and the additional charge of receiving.
Bain and Taylor were being tried in connection with an armed robbery that occurred on August 29, 2011.
Armed with a handgun, the men were accused of robbing Margo Ward of a gold snake chain and charm, a gold ring and gold bangle, together valued at $648.
The two men were also charged with receiving the items and being in possession of an unlicensed 9mm Taurus Millennium handgun and six live 9mm bullets.
At the beginning of the trial on Tuesday, after the jury had been empanelled, both men denied the allegations.
Yesterday morning, Bain had a change of heart and indicated this through his lawyer who relayed this to the judge and the prosecution.
Following closed discussions, Bain pleaded guilty to the charges and was convicted while Taylor was acquitted and told that he was free to go unless he had other pending matters before the courts.
Once the jury was dismissed and told to return on Monday, the judge then sentenced Bain to nine years in prison.
There was no plea for mitigation as those details were discussed in the absence of the jury.
Mr Allen II only asked that his client be allowed to participate in any of the available trade programmes at Her Majesty’s Prison so that he could become a productive and contributing member of society upon completion of his sentence.
Justice Charles, before granting the request and making the order, told Bain that even though it was his first offence, he made a mistake and committed a crime of a serious nature. She hoped he would use his time in jail and learn from his mistake.
The judge granted the request and made an order to prison officials concerning Bain’s participation in a trade programme.