Three years in jail is the time that Colin Browne has to serve for robbery, a crime to which he pleaded guilty before Justice Keith Thom, adding to his already long list of criminal convictions.
The 24-year-old man was caught on camera robbing a scholarship student in April 2017. The facts, as presented to the court by Crown Counsel Shannon Jones-Gittens at Friday’s sentencing hearing, reveal that the robbery victim, Kadisha Proctor, had been given a scholarship to study in the United States, but was denied a visa when she applied.
Unable to pursue her studies abroad, she agreed to take the scholarship to attend the Antigua and Barbuda International Institute of Technology (ABITT).
Having received her scholarship cheque for $27,000 which represents what overseas students get, on April 18, 2017, she was said in her statement to police that she was advised that she would have to return $13,500, since she was studying locally and she had the option to do it using a cheque or cash.
She chose to return cash, and on May 5, last year after depositing the cheque for the $27,000, she made her way to the coordinator of the scholarship programme, Maurice Merchant, at the Prime Minister’s office to hand over the balance which was to be deposited in the Scholarship Fund.
According to the victim, she observed Browne “staring” at her at one point while she was on Market Street, but didn’t make much of it at the time because she did not know him.
She saw him again while she was walking on the road leading to the prime minister’s office, behind Sagicor.
The young woman tried to run and to get the attention of the officers at the security booth outside the prime minister’s office, but failed.
Browne ran up to her and grabbed the knapsack with the cash in it. She continued to run and immediately reported the robbery to the officers when she got to the booth.
A review of the surveillance cameras led the police to the robber who was caught on May 21. A month ago, Browne admitted that he robbed Proctor, but said he never benefitted from his actions because after he ran, he hid the knapsack at Yasco, but when he returned it was gone, along with its contents. Seven years is the maximum jail time for the crime for which Browne has been convicted.