Outgoing Chief Magistrate Teddy St. Louis has expressed concern over the increasing number of juvenile matters coming up for adjudication before the court.
Magistrate St. Louis raised the concern on Monday, moments before remanding a 17-year-old student who appeared before him on a Robbery with Violence charge, to the Grand Bacolet Juvenile Rehabilitation and Treatment Centre.
The youngster was arrested and jointly charged along with 21-year-old Asché Marshall of Parade, St. George on Sunday, in connection with an armed robbery incident at the Green Dot Ltd., Cross Street, St. George’s outlet last week Thursday.
The perpetrators, who now face a maximum penalty of 30 years, reportedly used a fake gun to rob the Green Dot cashier of $ 970.00.
A video, which has been making the rounds on social media shows a woman being forced to hand over cash to a man clad in a grey hoodie, who had aggressively entered the restricted area where she was stationed.
The incident occurred moments after another man clad in an orange jersey exited the outlet after conducting a transaction.
While bail was granted to Marshall in the sum of $50,000.00 with one surety, and other conditions, Chief Magistrate St. Louis felt that based on the serious nature of the offence, it was best if the Juvenile is detained at the juvenile treatment Centre so that an assessment can be done and necessary intervention made.
The 17-year-old robbery suspect is among six juveniles to be arrested and charged by police for indictable offenses in the last few weeks, including Rape and Non-Capital Murder.
The suspect has retained Attorney-at-law Anselm Clouden, who noted that the matter highlights the need for a family court to deal specifically with juvenile matters.
“Most of these young people are mentally challenged so we must have a facility that is geared to address those needs…,” he said in an interview with THE NEW TODAY.
“The whole idea with respect to the treatment of juveniles is for rehabilitation, and a change of direction, discipline, and the obedience for the rule of law, and that is what we need. Unfortunately, we don’t have that,” he added.
Attorney Clouden expressed optimism that the Dickon Mitchell-led Congress administration would move with urgency to “consider projects such as a family court and a court for juveniles”
Marshall who is the other suspect in the Green Dot robbery, is an IT -Trainee at St. George’s University.
He is being represented by Attorney Peter David, who informed the court that he did not commit the robbery but was more of an “accessory” to the crime.
Magistrate Teddy St. Louis, who noted the prevalence of these types of offenses with grave concern, adjourned the matter to June 30.