Dysfunctional Jones

Lawyer appeals for help for client

A 20-year-old man, of no fixed place of abode, is now awaiting his fate on a burglary charge.

Jah Rastafari Jones apologized before Madam Justice Michelle Weekes today for stealing BDS$25,000 and US$2,000 belonging to Ermaline Powlett on May 26 last year.

Attorney-at-law Arthur Holder also appealed for his client to be given the psychiatric and substance abuse treatment he needs in order to be reintegrated into society.

Holder revealed that he had known the young man for sometime, while describing him as a product of “a completely dysfunctional family”.

“What you see is a reflection of what has transpired in his life. He has gone from children’s home, to children’s home, to an institution,” the attorney said, adding that Jones had lived in a group setting all his life and it was difficult for him to live in an environment as an individual.

“Any treatment must . . . inculcate in him a difference [because] for almost 21 years that has been his existence,” Holder said, while stating that “society has to understand what he has been through because there has been a great deal of abuse and neglect”.

Holder submitted that the Psychiatric Hospital was the best place for Jones to get the treatment he needed and not Her Majesty’s Prison Dodds.

However, Crown Counsel Oliver Thomas argued otherwise, saying prison was the best place for Jones, who was “calculated in how he broke into this person’s house and stole money totaling over $28,000”.

He explained that Powlett, who is now deceased, was a hawker who had been saving her money to renovate her property when Jones “broke in and stole the money and spent it on ganja and other frivolous things.

“He can’t use his issues as a crutch. He must be held responsible for his actions,” Thomas insisted, adding that other people, including Jones’ siblings, had overcome their personal challenges.

“This is about choices,” the prosecutor said, while revealing that Jones has several antecedents in terms of dishonesty and drugs.

He also reported that Jones was already receiving treatment at HMP Dodds, adding that releasing him into another environment could jeopardize that progress.

The crown counsel submitted that at the very minimum, Jones should be sentenced to six years for the offence which carries a maximum 20-year prison term.

The case was adjourned without a date for sentencing.

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