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Donald Hanley, a former immigration officer, is claiming that difficult circumstances led him to robbing a woman of $800.
Hanley will be sentenced on June 3 in the High Court.
In Court on Monday, April 29, Hanley’s lawyer Patrick Thompson requested mercy for his client who he said made the poor decision to commit robbery after falling into difficult circumstances.
Back in March, last year, he robbed Jocelyn Sanchez of her handbag which contained $800.
He previously pleaded guilty to the robbery charge.
The prosecution claims that on March 15, 2018, he plotted with his girlfriend to steal the money from the woman, knowing that she would have cash on her due to the nature of her business.
The Court was told that the 36-year-old hid his face with a cloth, dressed in a black hoodie and waited for the woman at a staircase close to her apartment, in Virgin Gorda.
When she was passing, the man allegedly grabbed her handbag and a tussle ensued. She managed to pull off his hoodie before he escaped with the handbag, and left the area in a vehicle driven by his girlfriend, the Court heard.
The victim went to the Police Station and made a report. Hanley was later arrested, and DNA taken from the hoodie proved that he wore the article, the Prosecution further stated.
It was related that, under caution, he told the police that he was sorry and that he needed the money to pay the bank.
It was also shared that Hanley was previously convicted for stealing money from the Immigration Office on Virgin Gorda, where he worked at the time. He had used his key to gain access to the building and take the money, reports state.
The Prosecution in listing the aggravating factors of the case noted that he committed the act for financial gain and tried to hide his identity in hopes of not being caught. The fact that it was premeditated was also highlighted, as well as the issue of the seriousness and prevalence of the offense.
The court heard that the man threw away the bag and other items after removing the money, and as such the prosecution pointed out that he disposed of evidence as well, while noting that he is a repeat offender.
A custodial sentence and compensation order was requested by the Prosecution side.
Meanwhile, Attorney Thompson, told the court that his client is a church-going person, and the offence is out of character for him.
Difficult circumstances, he said, led a ‘usually upstanding young man’ to commit the act. The lawyer further argued that no weapon was used and it was one of the lowest forms of robbery—mugging.
Justice Ann Marie Smith will hand down her sentence on June 3.