By Kadeem Joseph
Lawyers for two former police officers found guilty of corruption in late March have appealed for leniency for their clients ahead of Monday’s sentencing.
While sentencing was due yesterday, legal representatives for Marcus Isadore, who was 43 years old at the time of committing the crimes in 2017, and Peter Lugay who was 23, used the mitigation process to present information to the court that they hoped would result in lighter penalties.
The offences relate to holding a farmer at gunpoint and taking illegal drugs from him for their personal gain.
Isadore was charged with omitting to perform his duty and obtaining eight pounds of cannabis for the benefit of himself or another in February 2017.
Both Isadore and Lugay were jointly charged with obtaining 29 pounds of cannabis from the same farmer later that month.
In addition, Lugay is said to have used his police weapon in an effort to obtain the drugs, which reportedly have not been accounted for and were never turned over as evidence.
Attorney Lawrence Daniels, who represents Isadore, called Reverend Dr Charles Jack, who worked with his client for several years, to the stand.
Jack testified that the former police officer was a meticulous individual, respectful and of great character “in terms of integrity”.
He told the court that during the time Isadore worked with him, “he was a team player” with a good working relationship with his peers, adding that he had even chosen the now 48-year-old to work along with church groups in order to teach children how to use fire extinguishers.
During his presentation, Daniels asked Justice Ann-Marie Smith to consider that his client had given exemplary service to the country, is a family man with three children, plus the loss of the man’s pension and other benefits by virtue of being dismissed from his job.
The lawyer appealed to Justice Smith to show mercy, saying his client had “slipped and fell”, asking for a fine for the crime instead of jail time.
Following a request for clarification from the probations officer who assessed Lugay, his attorney Andrew O’Kola said that, despite the seriousness of the crime, his client’s actions could be characterised as “youthful exuberance”.
He told the court that Lugay was considered a quiet, well-mannered person who showed great respect to his superiors.
O’Kola also sought to impress upon Justice Smith the great loss a jail sentence would be to Lugay’s family who depend on his ability to provide for them, noting that the man also has a two-month-old son.
He asked the judge to “break the chain of fathers not being there for their children” in his plea for justice to be tempered with mercy.
The lawyer also asked Justice Smith to consider that his client has “suffered the scorn, scourge, humiliation and embarrassment” that comes along with such a case being publicised in a small island and the loss of his client’s benefits due to his dismissal from the force as well.
Attorney and Commissioner of Police during the time of the incident Wendel Alexander (formerly Wendel Robinson) also took the stand to speak on both men’s character.
Justice Smith will hand down the sentence for both men on Monday morning in the High Court.
Corruption carries a maximum sentence of five years while the unlawful use of a firearm could land someone 10 years in prison.