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Robbery accomplice given suspended sentence

A Warwick man who robbed a grieving woman who travelled here to settle her dead brother's affairs, has managed to escape a prison sentence.

Blair Richardson, 26, made a tearful plea in Magistrates' Court that he not be sent to jail.

The Smith's Avenue resident told Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo he needed to be free to help raise his three-year-old daughter.

Richardson's accomplice, Donovan Adams, was jailed six months in October for robbing tourist Lily Gill on Front Street last year.

Ms Gill travelled to the Island from the UK following the drowning death of her brother Martin Molinski.

The two men accosted Ms Gill and a 25-year-old Paget man as they sat on a bench across from the Emporium Building at 3.10am on April 9.

The pair threatened Ms Gill with a bladed article, and then fled in a car with her handbag.

Adams subsequently pleaded guilty to the attack. Richardson denied the charges of robbery, attempted robbery and two counts of possessing a bladed article.

He went to trial and was found guilty of the offences on January 28.

His lawyer Victoria Pearman asked Mr Tokunbo to consider a sentence of less than 12 months.

She also asked that he consider handing her client a suspended sentence.

Ms Pearman described Adams as the principle offender and pointed out that the contents of Ms Gill's handbag had been found. An emotional Richardson then told Mr Tokunbo: “I'm at my breaking point in life, and I'm tired of letting down the people who love me.”

Mr Tokunbo noted that there was a “lack of clarity” as to the roles Richardson and Adams played in the attack.

“The one thing you have to your credit, Mr Richardson, is the blurred line of responsibility between you and your co-accused,” he said.

Mr Tonkunbo sentenced Richardson to two years' imprisonment for robbery, 12 months for attempted robbery, and 12 months for each count of possessing a bladed article.

“All these sentences are from today, and are to run concurrently. The total sentence of two years' imprisonment I am suspending for three years.”

Richardson was given three years' probation. He was also placed on three months' curfew from 10pm to 6am, and ordered to submit to drug testing and anger management.

Mr Tonkunbo warned him: “If you breach your probation, you will be brought back, and all this will amount for nothing for your daughter.”

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Published March 21, 2011 at 10:14 am (Updated March 21, 2011 at 10:13 am)

Robbery accomplice given suspended sentence

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