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Businessman shoots burglar in arm, leg

Businessman shoots burglar in arm, leg

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Well-known businessman Beresford Phillips is hoping that the man he shot during a burglary of his premises would change his ways.{{more}}

Franklyn Byron-Cox, also known as “Berry Cox” or “Berry”, was

shot three times by Phillips at the Phillips Bakery in Middle Street, after Byron-Cox entered the 20-year-old establishment with the intention to steal.

Byron-Cox, said to be in his sixties, appeared at the Serious Offences Court yesterday, and pleaded guilty to the charge of intent to commit burglary.

He was sentenced to one year in prison by Chief Magistrate Sonya Young.

Yesterday, Phillips told SEARCHLIGHT that in shooting Byron-Cox, he wanted to send a message to the man and others that their actions would not be tolerated.

“I hope it serves as a warning, because I’ve had one or two encounters with other persons who burglarized my premises as well. I hope they will desist from doing it,” Phillips stated.

The businessman said that the encounter on July 7 was not his first with Byron-Cox, since the two had had run-ins in the past, but the matter came to a head that weekend.

“This man has been burglarizing my place for many years…. I reported this matter to the police on several occasions and I think he was arrested and subject to correction, I think he was imprisoned,” Phillips told SEARCHLIGHT.

“Despite that, he continued to burglarize my premises, I warned him on umpteen of occasions, in the presence of members of the public, in the presence of my friends, in the presence of his friends. I cautioned him to desist from burglarizing my business place, yet he continued,” Phillips added.

Phillips said that he was in his business place on Sunday night when Byron-Cox entered, and was shot. He said he was careful to shoot the intruder in his arm and leg, so that he had a greater chance of surviving.

“I didn’t want to kill him on my premises, because it was a bakery, and for fear that it would bring some sort of stigma to the business, I decided that I wouldn’t kill him, and also, I wanted to give him the opportunity to redeem himself, to become a decent citizen, and to change the way he was carrying on.”

No stranger to criminal acts perpetrated against him, Phillips was robbed of a sum of money at gunpoint about two years ago, as he was about to enter the yard of his home at Redemption Sharpes.

He told SEARCHLIGHT that since then, he decided to take around his licensed firearm with him.

“On that occasion, I wasn’t prepared. I never took around with me a firearm. I didn’t see the need for it, because I felt that I lived good with everyone and I underestimated that situation.

“I was attacked and relieved of all my business cash, and I decided from there on that I would face these bandits head on…. I am always alert to any eventuality. I stopped taking things lightly.”

Last weekend, SEARCHLIGHT reported that prominent businessman Dennis Joyette was beaten and robbed, and his auto repair shop burglarized on Saturday, July 6.

The bandits made off with a sum of money, jewellery, and a vehicle, after locking Joyette in the building.

The vehicle was later recovered, and police are investigating the incident. (JJ)

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