Neville Woods — who has been described as a prolific burglar with a criminal career spanning some 25 years — was sentenced to 4.5 years in jail, and told the Court he has been reading the Bible and determined that he “needs to seek the Spirit and not the flesh.”
Justice Charles-Etta Simmons handed down the sentence yesterday [Feb 6] after reviewing a Social Inquiry Report and a Bermuda Assessment Referral Centre report.
Woods, 44, had originally been convicted in the Magistrates Court. However, Senior Magistrate Archie Warner had determined that given the evidence, admission of guilt, and Woods’ long criminal record, the five year maximum that the lower Court could impose was too light a sentence. Magistrate Warner therefore remanded Woods to the Supreme Court for sentencing.
Questioning Woods, Justice Simmons asked if he was prepared to accept a rigorous probation order. He agreed to do so and she then set out these conditions:
- Must commit no further offences
- Must appear when ordered
- Must notify of any change of address or occupation
- Must not leave Bermuda without the Court’s permission
- Must submit to drug tests
- Must attend any programs stipulated by the Probation Officer
- Must live in an approved residential program
- Must not associate with people involved in drugs or illegal activity
- Must wear an Electronic Monitoring Device.
This probation order was to last three years. commencing from the date of his release.
On the four counts on which he had been convicted, Justice Simmons then sentenced Woods to four and half years in jail on each count, with the four sentences to run concurrently. This was to be followed by three years probation with the conditions as set out.
Justice Simmons ordered that during Woods’s incarceration, the Commissioner of Prisons was to enrol Woods in a substance abuse program. She also ordered that on release, Woods was to be released into the custody of Probation Services.
In a final statement from the dock, Woods said that he been reading the Bible and had determined that: “I need to seek the Spirit and not the flesh.”
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