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St Peter man to spend three years behind bars

COURT TODAY BLOCKAfter pleading guilty to 11 charges earlier today, a St Peter man was jailed for 36 months. However, six of them will run concurrently.

Louwayne Joel Eugene Branch was handed the sentences by Magistrate Douglas Frederick.

Branch also narrowly escaped a further 12 months in prison when the Magistrate realised, after perusing Branch’s conviction record, that by his admissions today, he would have broken a year-long bond placed on him by another Magistrate.

He therefore owed the court $750 forthwith or he would automatically spend 12 months in jail, even before being sentenced by the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court on today’s matters.

Branch did not have the funds and after the Magistrate explained that it needed to be paid before the end of the day’s sitting, the 35-year-old assured the Court that the money which his father was sending from overseas, would be there by 2 p.m.

It was paid by 2.30, thereby negating that 12 months.Last month, Branch denied committing the 11 offences between November 7, 2014 and May 9 this year. Today, the Clarkes Road, Ashton Hall resident admitted stealing a cheque book, uttering forged cheques to and obtaining materials from Barbados Steel Works and Marshall Trading Limited.He also confessed to robbing Karen Rowe, Wendene Alleyne, Annette Slocombe, Michelle Medford and Joyce Ramdeholl of bangles, with only Ramdeholl’s silver bangles being recovered.

Branch also pleaded guilty to assaulting Alleyne. He was sentenced to six months for that offence, while he got three months on all of the others.

According to the facts which were presented by acting Station Sergeant Neville Watson, Branch stole a cheque book from his former employer Thomas Fields after he had placed it in a drawer.

In relation to the lumber companies, orders were placed to two different addresses and on each occasion, Branch was at the scene and paid the driver from the mentioned cheque book. The cheques were later found to be stolen.

The women were robbed by snatching the jewellery from their hand, some of whom were driving at the time. In the case of Alleyne, her bangles were snatched when she got off a minibus in the City. Branch followed her and dragged the bangles but Alleyne fell and hurt her back during the incident. She is 68 years old.

Randerholl, 67, was sitting by her shop with her two daughters, when Branch walked up to her and snatched her bangles. Meanwhile, Medford’s were snatched while she was walking through an alley in the City.

The convicted man apologised to the court today. “I sorry about everybody but especially Wendene Alleyne,” he said.

When asked by the court why he had turned to a life of crime, Branch replied that his daughter and girlfriend were in need of medication and he wanted to buy some for them. He added that he was sent back from the United States at age 12 and has spent two years in a mental hospital.

Magistrate Frederick suggested that he not recall all of the “the negatives” in his life but recount some of the good; which were that at the time he committed the offences, he was “working, had a girlfriend and was living somewhere” as well as being “on a bond which meant that a court had given you a chance”.

Before sentencing, Branch’s attorney Dennis Headley asked that the court consider his early guilty plea, that he had not wasted the court’s time nor resources, and that he has spent the last 10 years working as a tattoo artist and as a labourer when things were slow.

Headley added that Branch had also expressed remorse for his actions.

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