From the Courts
March 6, 2009
‘Tombstone’ sent to prison again

Alister “Tombstone” Smith will have the next two years in prison to either change his ways or hone his skills as a con-artiste.{{more}}

“He is like a loveable rogue… he has a fine mind,” said Senior Magistrate Donald Browne of the Kingstown Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, March 2, as he sentenced the career con-artiste to four and a half years imprisonment for three counts of deception, which took place between January 29, 2009, and February 2, 2009.

The sentences will run concurrently, so Smith will serve two years, which was the longest of the three sentences.

Smith, 29, of Sion Hill, using the name Gibson Hill, tricked businessman Anthony Thomas, of Mustique, into believing that he was a vehicle importer and got him to make three payments totaling EC$1,925 and US$1,390 on a truck that he was supposedly importing for him.

Christol John, of Kingstown, was caught up in the scheme because she was conned into believing that she was being hired as Smith’s secretary.

Smith used the unsuspecting young woman to collect the money from Thomas on the various occasions.

As he addressed John’s situation, Magistrate Browne said that under the master/ servant principle, John was only doing her employer’s bidding when she collected the money from Thomas.

He suggested that she couldn’t be held accountable because she was just doing her job.

The Magistrate told John that while he knows it is difficult to be unemployed and understood the joy of finding a job, she should be careful who she accepts a job from.

As he sentenced “Tombstone”, the Magistrate marveled at the young man’s innate cleverness.

“I almost want to take my hat off to him for his cleverness. I wish you will put that intelligence into productive endeavors,” Magistrate Browne said.

Smith has had numerous convictions for similar offences dating back to 2001.

So even though his attorney Grant Connell valiantly argued for leniency by suggesting that he needed counseling and maybe a suspended sentence rather than jail time, so he could mend his ways, Magistrate Browne would have none of it.

Wagging his finger vigorously at Smith in the defendant’s box, Magistrate Browne said that he is convinced that based on Smith’s record he is bent on continuing his deceptive ways.

He said that he wanted him to sit down in Her Majesty’s prison and think about his life.

After he was sentenced, Smith asked to be heard by the court and said that his mother was recovering from a stroke, he had a young baby and was planning to get married, and hence he wanted a shorter jail time.

His plea failed! (KJ)