A decade and a half after he robbed a university student of his laptop and headphones, a Cunupia man has been sentenced to three years and ten months' imprisonment.
Justice Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds sentenced Keno Lewis on Monday.
A jury convicted him of robbery on October 11. Lewis was originally indicted for robbery with aggravation, but was found not guilty of that charge by the jury, and instead found guilty of the lesser offence.
It was the State’s case that Lewis robbed a University of the Southern Caribbean student who was on his way to classes on October 25, 2007.
In sentencing Lewis, the judge said there was a need to deter others “who feel they can take the property of others.
“The court needs to send a strong message.”
She said such crimes were far too prevalent.
She also pointed out that the victim, at the time of the robbery, was listening to a lecture while on his way to the university.
She said the trauma he suffered led to his not wanting to give evidence at the trial even a decade and a half later.
In sentencing Lewis, the judge started with a five-year term of imprisonment. Since he did not plead guilty, he was not entitled to a one-third discount on his sentence.
Ramsumair-Hinds said a third sounded like a lot, but explained the rationale behind it, saying it signalled remorse by the offender while also taking responsibility for their actions.
“We do not lock people up and throw away the keys,” she said.
The 215 days Lewis spent in custody while awaiting his trial was discounted, leaving him with three years and ten months to serve.
The judge did bemoan the length of time the trial took since his committal in March 2008, after a preliminary inquiry that took less than a year.
On July 7, a Port of Spain jury found Lewis, the father of four, not guilty of the offence of shooting at a police officer with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, in relation to an incident that allegedly took place in 2005. Justice Hayden St Clair-Douglas presided over that trial.
In both cases, Lewis was represented by attorney Steven Mawer and the State was represented by Solange Devenish and Indira Chinebas.