Robbers sentenced to 5 years in prison
In what was said to be a strong message to criminal elements, two men were sentenced to five years imprisonment on charges of robbery with violence.
The accused, Gabriel Blake, 22, and Victor Espinoza, 32, both of Chaguanas, were sentenced on Friday by Senior Magistrate Cherril-Anne Antoine to charges of robbery and possession of a gun and ammunition.
The matter was called before the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court.
Both men were represented by defence attorney Michael Rooplal, who informed the court that both men hold dual citizenship in this country as well as Venezuela.
He noted that due to the conditions in Venezuela, the men were desperate for money to buy food locally to send to their families across the waters.
However, Senior Magistrate Antoine was not moved by this submission and sentenced both men to five years’ imprisonment with hard labour, as a stern message to robbers – that the crime will not be tolerated.
Both men were held on October 26 at the C3 Centre in Corinth within minutes of committing the crime.
According to reports, around 10pm that day, police responded to a report of a robbery in Palmiste. Upon responding, they met a family who had been beaten by their robbers.
An all-points bulletin was issued and a team of officers received information which led them to intercept a car at the C3 Centre car park.
Blake and Espinoza were arrested and all the stolen items were recovered, including jewellery valued $20,000, six cellular phones and 2,000 in cash.
A loaded firearm was also reportedly seized in the vehicle.