By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MAN was sentenced by the Supreme Court to eight years in prison for the gunpoint robbery of an elderly man at his workplace three years ago.
Jarvis Fernander, 22, stood trial before Senior Justice Stephen Isaacs for two days on charges of armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon concerning the March 28, 2014 hold up of Dudley Martinborough for his cellular phone, $180 cash and a Rolex watch valued at $3,000.
Fernander denied the charges when formally arraigned in the Supreme Court and when his trial began on February 28.
The jury convicted him on March 2.
At a sentencing hearing on Wednesday afternoon, Fernander’s lawyer Calvin Seymour withdrew his initial legal argument concerning the assault charge in which, at a hearing a week before, he had referred to the Privy Council decision of Chevanese Hall. The Privy Council’s decision upheld the Court of Appeal’s ruling to quash the conviction in the Bahamas’ first tried human trafficking case.
The issue concerned whether Fernander should have been tried in the Supreme Court or Magistrate’s Court concerning the assault charge.
Mr Seymour asked the court to consider a seven-year sentence based on Fernander’s youth and his previously clean record.
Crown prosecutor Darell Taylor suggested a sentence in the range of 10 to 15 years.
The judge ultimately sentenced Fernander to eight years, but deducted three years for the time spent on remand. Fernander was sentenced to three years on the assault with a deadly weapon charge, but he has already served his time.
At Fernander’s trial, the nine-member jury heard testimony from the 73-year-old coordinator of the Bahamas Maritime Cadets institution that sometime around 10am on the day in question, while at the East Bay Street school, he saw two men approaching the door to the old Gold Circle Complex.
The victim said one of the men was 5’8” and the other 5’11”. He described both as slim. However, he said the men never came inside which led him to believe they were up to no good.
When he tried to lock the door, the men barged in and were tugging at him aggressively when his eyeglasses fell off.
He also noticed that the shorter of the two men was armed with a black handgun.
After telling them that the school had no money, the gunman threatened to put a bullet in his head.
He was struck in the head and they took the items that they had demanded.
He picked out the accused at an identification parade four days after the incident.
In cross-examination, the witness admitted that he was near-sighted and had glaucoma but insisted he’d observed the men for some 30 seconds.
He also said the same individuals came into the school making inquiries about the establishment two days earlier.
Before excusing the jury to deliberate, the judge noted that persons can sometimes make mistakes in identification.
The jury, after two hours of deliberation, returned unanimous 9-0 guilty verdicts on both charges.
Fernander, at Wednesday’s sentencing, was advised of his right to contest the jury’s verdicts and his sentences to the Court of Appeal if he wished.