“He who takes the benefit must also take the burden,” were the words of a city magistrate before a 22-year-old man was sentenced to three years in prison on a robbery charge.
Shawn Bascom pleaded guilty with explanation to the charge which stated that on June 9, 2019 at Falls Gas Station, East Bank Demerara, while being in the company of another, he robbed Zheng Teng Fei of $500,000 in cash. The cash was the property of Chen Yeng.
In his explanation to the court, Bascom stated, “Two weeks now I ain’t finding no work. Me soldier seh he gone link me with a work so we meet up the night.”
Bascom added, “ I was frustrated and I just needed some cash so I went and grab the money from a Chinese man. The man pull way the bag and security and other persons beat me and handed me over to the police.”
A teary-eyed Bascom further went on to tell the court that he did not mean to hurt anyone and that he just wanted to go see his four-year-old daughter for Father’s Day.
The remorseful man continued, “I wasn’t in my right mind because I was under the influence. I won’t do it again.”
Facts presented by Police Prosecutor Seon Blackman stated that on the day in question at around 9:05 PM, the victim, who is the supervisor of the gas station, had just exited the establishment with the bag containing the money, proceeds of the day’s sale, when he was approached by Bascom and another individual.
The court heard the accomplice choked the victim while Bascom snatched the money bag and attempted to make good his escape. However, he was apprehended by a security guard and handed over to the police.
The prosecutor went on to tell the court that when Bascom was arrested and taken to the station his words to the officers were, “No risk no reward.”
The prosecutor asked the court to reward Bascom in a way that would make others desist from committing such offences. According to the prosecutor, the prevalence of robbery is too high.
Principal Magistrate Faith McGusty stated, “ Since you [Bascom] like quoting, I’ll give you one.”
She then told him, “He who takes the benefit must also take the burden” and she sentenced him to three years’ imprisonment.