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Man jailed for 23 years for robbery

Man jailed for 23 years for robbery
Allan Wilson


For robbing a supermarket of $42,000, a Questelles resident has lost his freedom for the next 23 years.

Allan Wilson was sentenced last Friday at the High Court in Kingstown.

Before he was sentenced, Wilson, who was unrepresented in court, asked Justice Brian Cottle to consider the mitigating features of the case, to which the Justice inquired “Such as?”

“Such as my period of time since my last conviction,…my character my Lord…my immediate family my Lord…my two young sons, my Lord,” Wilson stated, with his voice sounding unstable.

He also said there was no clear evidence that the victim saw a gun.

The facts indicate that the delivery clerk of CK Greaves supermarket saw what looked to be a handle of a gun, which was used to intimidate the employee into handing over the coveted bag of cash.

The employee, had been carrying a bag from the Wholesale division to the supermarket just a short distance away on Friday, February 7, 2014.

The robbery occurred at around 5 p.m., and the location was Upper Bay Street, Kingstown. The bag contained cash amounting to $29,000, and cheques valued at $13,000, and a notebook of the wholesale division.

The employee had felt someone tug at the bag he was holding as he was in the process of walking to the supermarket, and he looked up to see someone that he recognized as a friend of another employee of CK Greaves. Wilson told him, “Soldier pass dat.”

The employee clutched at the bag and did not respond, and so the robber reached to his pants waist where what appeared to be the handle of a gun could be seen. The delivery clerk became fearful for his life and released the bag into the hands of the dreadlocked assailant.

The alarm was raised afterwards, and a police officer gave chase. A shot was fired, after which Wilson managed to escape.

Witnesses were said to have seen two men running from the scene at the time, several persons were said to have been implicated in the robbery, but three have been killed in separate incidents.

The police investigated and learned that another employee of the supermarket had given information to Wilson about the movement of the cash. Wilson denied his involvement and told the police he was walking with a friend in town. This friend, who could not be located, did not give evidence for him during trial.

The dreadlocks that Wilson used to sport were cut on February 7, the same day as the robbery.

The maximum for the offence of robbery is life imprisonment, which has been affixed at a notional sentence 30 years incarceration.
The judge brought up a number of aggravating features of the offence. The loss to the company, the emotional trauma of the employee, the use of the potentially lethal weapon, the planned nature of the crime and the fact that it “took place on a public street, in the capital city on Friday afternoon.”

Wilson had an established criminal record before this crime, including a conviction for a burglary in which $27,000 worth of items were stolen, and for unlicensed possession of a firearm.

Justice Cottle sentenced Wilson to 23 years in prison, but he had spent two months and 13 days in jail at that date, so his remaining time was 22 years and nine and one half months.

The Acting Director of Public Prosecutions(DPP) Sejilla McDowall prosecuted the case. After a full trial, Wilson was unanimously convicted by a nine member jury earlier this year.