‘Career criminal’ jailed for 13 years for robbing pensioner

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Carson Matthew Jnr
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By Latrishka Thomas

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“Career criminal” Carson Matthew Jnr was slapped with a 13-year sentence for robbing a pensioner while brandishing a knife.

The 25-year-old Fort Road resident was found guilty of aggravated robbery after a short judge-only trial last week.

Justice Ann-Marie Smith convicted the young man of stealing a little over $300 and a beer from the victim, while wielding a knife, on January 3 last year.

The victim told the court yesterday that he still has flashbacks and is traumatised as a result of the robbery.

He said that he has had to move into a smaller bedroom as it was more secure.

The elderly man also indicated that the $300 stolen from him was the last money he had and consequently he had to borrow some.

Having heard from the complainant, the judge started with a sentence of 12 years but bumped it up to 14 years, noting that the accused used a mask and has a long list of similar convictions which designated him “a career criminal”.

The only mitigating factor was that he is the father of a five-year-old, and that brought his sentence down to 13 years.

On the day in question, the accused entered the house of the 68-year-old victim at around 2.30am where he found the complainant sleeping with his lights on.

The elderly man said he immediately felt a presence over him and woke up to see the accused holding a knife and demanding money.

The complainant cried out but the defendant threatened to stab him in his throat.

The man surrendered and gave Matthew Jnr $306.

The robber then proceeded to take a Wadadli beer before pulling down his mask and asking for more cash, which the complainant indicated that he did not have.

As a result of seeing the defendant’s face, the victim was able to pick him out of a line-up of eight other men during an ID parade.

But during his trial, Matthew Jnr gave an unsworn statement where he told the court that he was at home with his mother and nephews at the time of the incident.

His mother also testified that her son was at home that night and was asleep in the living room.

She even said that she saw him several times when she woke up to use the bathroom.

However, when she was cross-examined by the Prosecutor Curtis Cornelius, she admitted that she did not look at the time when she went to the bathroom and therefore could not say for sure if he was at home between 11pm and 2.30am.

In the end, the Crown’s case proved stronger and Matthew Jnr was found guilty.

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