TALKBACK: Eastmond’s ‘judicial joke’ sparks debate
BARBADIANS RARELY CHALLENGE the sentences handed down in the law courts.
But comedian Trevor Eastmond had no qualms about doing so and even branded the whole judicial system “a joke” after a young man who robbed him of US$3 000 was sentenced to 12 months in HMP Dodds after spending two on remand.
Eastmond, who is battling health issues, queried how the magistrate arrived at his decision and said the sentence was more of “a staycation”.
Online readers reacted to the sentence and Eastmond’s take on the situation.
Cynthia Taitt: [Some] individuals will continue to commit crime, because they know when caught a slap on the wrist is the only punishment. Sadly there’s no reward for the victims, and the level of crime continues to rise.
WillieScrapes: Trevor Eastmond may be a comedian but the factual nature of his observation that “Barbados’ judicial system [is] a joke” is no laughing matter.
Laura Devonish: Some people should not comment; the man have the right to want more time for someone coming into his private residence. My grandmother always said a thief is a murderer. Yes Trevor, it’s a joke.
Donald Yearwood: For stealing a sum of $6 000 how much time should he receive? Was it his first conviction? I understand how you feel but 19 years old as an offender can be rehabilitated before he becomes a hardened criminal. It will be lot more beneficial to support him and provide guidance in life than to lock him up and throw away the key.
Mhizz Joan Moore: Giving him more years will not bring back ya money. Just put it down as a lesson learnt and be more careful next time.
Lawrence Griffith: What people need to understand is these young boys are in financial crisis because they lack opportunity. After school 80 per cent have nothing to do but hang on the block. If a couple of older boys are dressed up and have the latest technology, they too want to have. That’s how good kids turn to crime because they are forced by peer pressure.
Mohamed Adam: Thieves, if caught, should be given jobs that nobody wants, like cutting cane or picking cotton, and make them pay the person they stole from multiplied by ten. That would be more a deterrent than going Dodds and making taxpayers give them four square meals and coming out fat and strong to do same thing all over again.
Thomas Katt: I agree with you, Trevor. Those in authority soft on criminals and crime. The perpetrators are to be felt sorry for and the victims denied true and absolute justice.
Lucia Aniela Parris: My advice to you Mr Eastmond is to sue. Granted that the plaintiff may not even have anything of that value. That’s the only way you would get back your money. But as far as the sentence goes, that’s standard.
Maria Leclair: His punishment was harsh; six months would have been enough. It was his first offence. The more time he spends in Dodds, the greater the possibility of him learning “how to become a better criminal”.
Mark Fenty: There is a need for serious judicial reform in Barbados, and a community service programme ought to be an option for first-time offenders, depending of the criminal category.
• Sherrylyn Toppin is THE NATION’s Online Editor.