22-Year-Old Man Jailed For Not Paying Taxi Fare

September 18, 2015

Appearing in Magistrates Court today, 22-year-old Stevon Swan-Richardson was sentenced to four months in prison after he pleaded guilty to not paying a $68 taxi fare on 9th September 2015.

Crown Prosecutor Ms Maria Sofianos told Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo that Swan-Richardson and two others had taken the cab from Robert’s Ave to Ice Queen in Paget where the trio had purchased food.

One man had then been dropped off on Ord Road in Warwick and Swan-Richardson and one other continued to Spring Benny Lane in the west end.

Once there, Swan-Richardson had exited the cab saying that he was going to get some money to pay the driver, and the driver insisted that the third man should stay in the cab. However, the third man got out and both men ran off.

The driver returned to Ice Queen, checked Ice Queen’s CCTV, and called police who then arrested Swan-Richardson.

In Court today, Swan-Richardson claimed that the taxi-driver was “very disrespectful” to him and also told the Magistrate that he had been in police custody since September 14th, which was past 72 hours.

Before handing down the sentence, the Magistrate pointed out to Swan-Richardson that his record showed that this offence was a repeat of a pattern of past criminal activity that had seen him before the Courts before.

In addition, Swan-Richardson – along with 18-year-old Joel Smith — faced another set of charges.

These were that on 8th September, he and Smith had burglarized a Hamilton Parish residence and stolen two Louis Vuitton wallets and a Louis Vuitton handbag and some cash.

Alternatively, that on 14th September, they had dishonestly received the three items knowing or believing them to be stolen; the total value was alleged to be $3,750. A third charge was that they had taken a motor bike without the owner’s consent.

Each man plead not guilty to all these charges.

Joel Smith was then separately charged with having no driver’s licence; failing to stop at a stop sign; dangerous driving; having no third party insurance; and using a fraudulent document in the form of an altered licence plate. All charges stem from a police intervention on 14th September.

Both men must return to Court in October and November to stand trial on the burglary, theft, and traffic charges.

For each of the two Court appearances, Magistrate Tokunbo granted Smith bail of $5,000 with one surety, required him to abide by an 8:00pm to 6:00am curfew; and report three times a week to Hamilton Police Station.

Swan-Richardson, already jailed for the taxi offence, was remanded into custody until his November trial date.

In an exchange that provoked some snickers in the gallery, Swan-Richardson asked the Magistrate if he could “do” his prison sentence before his remand, as he didn’t want to find himself being held in jail.

The Magistrate replied that he could do his sentence and remand anyway he chose.

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