Alister ‘Tombstone’  Smith now a free man
From the Courts
November 12, 2013
Alister ‘Tombstone’ Smith now a free man

Alister “Tombstone” Smith is now a free man.

Smith, who had been serving time for deception, was released from jail yesterday.{{more}}

He had been sentenced to seven years at Her Majesty’s Prisons by Judge Gertel Thom on October 2, 2009, at the High Court in Kingstown.  

Smith was found guilty on March 9, 2009, of obtaining by deception $4,800, the property of Ronnell Bobb of Tortola and Prospect on March 20, 2008. He was also charged with dishonestly obtaining US$1,000 from Bobb on April 3, 2008, at Kings­town. He answered to a total of seven charges of deception for sums of money totaling over $40,000.

The then 30-year-old man, who had posed as an agent for Swedish engineers, who he said were coming to St. Vincent to carry out work on the Argyle International Airport, told Bobb that the foreigners wanted to rent her house, but she would need to do some renovations which included building a wall. She gave him money to carry out the work. Construction began on the wall, but never finished. By that time, Smith had already conned Bobb out of over $23,000 in relation to the project.

Before being sentenced by the High Court in 2009, Smith was already serving a two-year custodial sentence on three counts of deception. He was convicted on March 2, 2009, at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court for tricking businessman Anthony Thomas, of Mustique, into believing that he was a vehicle importer and lured him into making payments totaling EC$1,925 and US$1,390 on a truck. In this scheme, Smith had also conned Christol John into believing that she was being hired as his secretary.

Perhaps most outstanding in his extensive criminal career was the day he managed to unlawfully obtain three Dell Computers from Courts St Vincent Limited. In January 2007, Smith posed as someone by the name of Carl DeFreitas working at the Cotton House in Mustique. He telephoned Courts requesting the three computers valued at $10,497 on December 19, 2006. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail.

Smith was also sentenced to a further 12-month jail term that same year for dishonestly obtaining $3,000 from 65-year-old Jean Jack of Richland Park. Smith told the elderly woman that he was employed with the Government, in conjunction with the Cuban government, to build houses for the poor. The unsuspecting woman handed over the money to Smith after he told her that she would have to pay for the labour. No house was ever built, nor did she ever see her money again.

Smith’s brushes with the law began back in 2001, with an incident which many believe earned him his alias, “Tombstone”. That year, Smith, who worked then at the Everready Funeral Home, appeared before then Senior Magistrate Richard Williams and was sentenced to three months behind bars for deceiving the late Verina Hamlett, mother of late Govern­ment Senator Michael Hamlett, of $500 on September 21 that same year. 

He told Hamlett he worked for the Kingstown Board and that he was responsible for the maintenance of graves. In order to deprive the woman of her money, Smith told Hamlett that he was sent by the Prime Minister to negotiate with her to upkeep the late Senator’s grave.

In total awe of Smith’s prowess, Justice Thom said she was baffled as to the way he tricks people and is well known through­out St Vincent. “It seems like you are a professional…I am not sure how you are able to fool all these women, but you are good at it,” Thom said in 2009.