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Young men on strict five-year curfew

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Young people here have been advised to learn from the experience of two young men who were involved in the robbery of Chewie’s Bar at Villa last year, and on whom the court has imposed a strict curfew.{{more}}

For the next five years, if 21-year-old Darron Shallow and 22-year-old Jolarney ‘Lonny’ David are not at home between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m, they will go to jail for 10 years.

That sentence was handed down Wednesday by Justice Frederick Bruce-Lyle at the Criminal Assizes of the High Court, after the two young men pleaded guilty to attempting to rob Truman “Chewee” Quashie’s business place at Villa on July 23, 2011.

Their guilty plea followed the testimonies of several witnesses over a three-week period.

Shallow, a resident of Belmont, also pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to commit an offence; possession of firearm without a license; and possession of a 12-gauge ammunition cartridge.

David, however, pleaded not guilty to those charges and the jury was instructed to return a not guilty verdict against him.

In addition to the curfew, both men were placed on a $10,000 bond for three years on the attempted robbery charge. If breached, they will both spend 10 years in jail.

The foiled robbery attempt left Trinidadian Christopher ‘South’ Jack Joseph dead, after Quashie fired a single bullet, hitting Joseph in his head.

Police had also charged a 15-year-old boy in connection with the robbery, but the charges against him were dropped, as he testified in the case on behalf of the crown.

Four young men hang out for the first time

In a police statement given on July 23, 2011, Shallow said he along with Joseph, David and the boy went to the Boat Club in Villa.

“It was the first that all four of us were going to the Boat Club together. I use to hang out at the Boat Club since I was in Community College. When we reach Villa, South park the car close to the dock. Me, South and Lonny come out of the car, leaving [named 15-year-old] in the car.

“South tell [15-year-old] to stop in the car. We walk on the boardwalk by the water front and lime close to the boat club for a while. We go inside the boat club and sat on two bench. We stay there for a while and then we walk up to Chewie’s bar.

Shallow said while there, he bought three bottles of water for them to drink.

“I paid the big belly bar man [Quashie] $10 and he give me back a dollar. We lime for a while and then South leave and say he going by the car. Me and Lonny buy two more bottles of water, but South never came back to where we were,” the statement read.

Shallow added that they walked back to the car and saw South in the driver’s seat, while [15 year-old] was in the front passenger’s seat.

“South” decides to stick up the bar

“Me and Lonny left South in the car and go back boat club. South came [at the boat club] and say he going somewhere and come back. He came back about 45 minutes later and tell Lonny leh we roll. Everybody go in the car and South drive the car up on the main road and park it not too far from Mariner’s gap…”

The man’s statement continued: “South came out the car and go in the car trunk. He came back in the car with three guns, two shot gun and a short gun. He gimme the shot gun and he give Lonny the short gun and keep the other gun. South give [15-year-old] a cutlass then we roll up by the wall and jump down behind Chewie’s Bar by the bathroom…

“South say, on the count of three, we go run around and stick up the bar and rob the big belly bar man. South say, one, two, three, and he, Lonny and [15 year-old] run round. I bend down behind the bathroom. When they run round, I heard a loud explosion like 45 seconds after they go round by the bar….”

Shallow and David flee

Shallow said he still had his shotgun and after hearing the explosion, he ran towards the car and saw David (Lonny) running, coming towards him. Shallow further stated that both of them ran towards the gap that leads to the Community College, where David told him that they would ask his cousin for a ride home.

“We go up the hill by the mental home gap. When we reach up the hill, Lonny say leh we hide the guns them because his cousin will not give we the ride if he sees the guns. We hide the two guns in the gutter in front of his cousin’s house…”

Shallow added that David told his cousin that their car had broken down and they needed a ride. While in David’s cousin’s car, Shallow said upon reaching close to the vehicle, they saw Black Squad (Rapid Response Unit) officers. He said David told his cousin it was not that car and told him to continue driving.

“Lonny tell his cousin, not that car dey, go up some more. Then he tell he cousin to drive; the car done gone….”

Shallow said the police came to his home subsequently. He said he gave them the clothes he was wearing the night of the incident and told them where he hid the gun.

However, David’s gun was not found.

Shallow stated it was Joseph’s idea to rob the man and that he only learned of the plan when he got back to the car.

Lawyers plead with judge to give the youngster a second chance

In his plea of mitigation, Shallow’s lawyer, Ronald Marks, said his client was successful at the Common Entrance Examination and had placed 31st for boys, earning him a place at the St Vincent Grammar School. While there, he gained seven out of eight ‘O’ levels and went on to the ‘A’level College.

Following his tertiary studies, Shallow gained employment at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital and had recently completed an internship at the Ministry of Transport as an office clerk.

Since the incident, Marks said his client has transformed his life for the better. He said that Shallow is an active member of the Lauders International Worship Centre youth group, where he serves as assistant secretary.

“Since then, he has deepened his commitment to that Church. My Lord, this incident has been a life changing one….,”Marks said.

Marks told the court that none of the two men were the masterminds of the foiled robbery attempt.

“… I was hoping that there was a delegation of college students here today, because this incident is something for young people to learn from and to see how important it is to choose your company wisely…Either one of these young men could have been dead instead of South, had Mr Quashie decided to use more force than he did, they could have been dead,” Marks stated.

Marks pleaded with the court to grant his client a second chance, since he has showed intentions of being a useful member of his community. “He has showed by his actions that he is working towards improving himself by taking up gainful employment and be a model member of society…”

Representing David, lawyer Jaundy Martin said the Hopewell resident helps his father as a mechanic. He noted that his client had migrated to Canada during his primary education where he spent five years.

He later returned at age 13.

Martin stated that his client knew Joseph from bringing his car to his father’s garage. He added that the two developed a friendship later.

Martin added that David now goes to work and goes straight back to his home, since the incident took place. The lawyer asked the court to be lenient on his client and to impose a non-custodial sentence on him.

“…Give Mr David the opportunity to pick up the pieces his life has fallen into…,” Martin pleaded.

Director of Public Prosecutions, Colin Williams led the crown’s case.

The men’s curfew took effect from Wednesday.

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