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Saturday 20 July 2019
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Court affirms sentences for bandit dad and sons

As a father, Curtis Joseph had a duty to positively guide his two young sons. Instead, he facilitated their criminal conduct by being the getaway driver after they robbed a woman and threatened her and her sister-in-law with a knife.

Although Joseph was not pointed out by the two women who reported being robbed on March 16, 2012, at Eastern Main Road in St Augustine, close to the UWI tunnel, two Appeal Court judges said the eight-year sentence was proper, as there was compelling evidence against him.

Justices of Appeal Alice Yorke-Soo Hon and Mark Mohammed said in their ruling, “The magistrate considered the case to be a peculiar one involving a father and two sons carrying out a robbery. She correctly identified, as a unique and very serious aggravating factor, the fact that the assailants were a father and two sons.

“We are of the opinion Curtis’ role as a father demands in principle a higher sentence than his two sons’ to reflect the gravity of actions, the denunciatory objective of the sentence and the deterrent objective.”

Joseph and his sons, Joshua Etienne and Trevon Joseph, were each sentenced to eight years’ hard labour for robbing Avillon Murray of a handbag, two mobile phones and $1,134 in cash. She was with her sister-in-law Annmarie Ali-Williams, who had a knife held to her neck. The women’s lives were threatened and they told police after the robbery the two men got into a silver Nissan Primera and drove off.

The three appealed their convictions and sentences handed down by Magistrate Cheryl Ann-Blake.

Senior prosecutors Angelica Teelucksingh and Mauricia Joseph defended the magistrate’s decision at the appeal.

In their written ruling, the judges dismissed all five grounds of appeal advanced by attorneys Keith Scotland and Raphael Morgan, and confirmed the convictions.

They reduced Trevon’s sentence to seven years, however, for admitting to the crime when he was arrested, and Etienne’s to six years because he took the police to his father’s house where they recovered Murray’s bag.

Although Etienne and Trevon testified at their trial, Curtis’s defence was that he was with his sons that night and they left to go to KFC at Curepe Junction, stopping at the gas station in St Augustine. He said on their way home a strange car pulled up and an East Indian man pointed a gun at him and ordered him and his sons to lie on the ground.

The man was PC Rajesh Antoine who responded to the robbery report and then arrested and charged the three.

Antoine found $400 in Trevon’s right shoe and $270 in his pants pocket, and $500 in Etienne’s right shoe. When Antoine asked about the money, Etienne said, “Officer, that is some of the money. We spend some at KFC.”

Only $38 was found on Curtis but he insisted the money was his.

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