By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MAN was sentenced to ten years in jail yesterday for the gunpoint robbery of a 74-year-old man who was taking out his trash at night.
Jocelyn Similien, 26, appeared before Justice Vera Watkins facing up to life imprisonment concerning the incident that occurred on May 26, 2012 at the residence of Reuben Sears.
At a sentencing hearing three weeks ago, Similien’s lawyer Glendon Rolle asked the court to consider imposing probation for his client who had no previous convictions and was a successful candidate for rehabilitation.
However, Justice Watkins ruled yesterday: “There are no sufficient mitigating factors to depart from the established practice of imposing a term of imprisonment for an offence involving the use of a firearm.”
On the evening in question, at about 8.10pm, Mr Sears was taking trash to his garbage bin at the front of his home when he saw two men walking westward along the northern side of the street.
Shortly afterwards, Mr Sears felt an object against his neck. He turned and saw the two men that he had observed now in the front of him.
The taller of the men said, “Give me your wallet.”
While the shorter assailant held the gun, the taller man put his hands in Mr Sears’ pocket and took out a wallet containing $95 and other items before both fled.
Four days later, Mr Sears attended an identification parade and Similien was picked out as the person who fit the description of the person who robbed him.
Prosecutor Koshcina Marshall, at the sentencing hearing on February 25, submitted to the judge that Similien had shown no remorse since being convicted in September 2014.
She further argued that the victim was an elderly man, robbed in front of his own home and that what was stolen was never recovered or replaced.
In the judge’s written decision, Justice Watkins said she took into consideration that “armed robbery is a serious offence.”
“Further, in the event that the firearm used in the commission of the offence was real, there is no indication that the firearm was recovered by the police. While there is no indication that ammunition was discharged from the firearm, there was an inherent risk of serious injury or death to the complainant had ammunition been discharged from a real firearm,” the court noted.
“When dealing with the offence of armed robbery, it matters not that the firearm may not be real. At the time of the commission of the offence, the complainant no doubt, believed that he was being threatened with a real firearm that was capable of causing serious injury or death and not an imitation firearm that was incapable of causing injury or death.”
“The offence is the terror or apprehension that was caused in the complainant’s mind at the time while the offence was being committed.”
The judge ruled that the 10-year penalty will run from September 9, 2014, the date of conviction. Similien’s 10 months on remand reduced his punishment to a little more than nine years in jail.