Prison the only option for mentally ill offender
A mentally ill man has been sent to prison for three years, because Bermuda cannot provide the treatment he needs.
Davun Cox, who is schizophrenic, was jailed after admitting to intruding on the privacy of a young girl on March 1.
The 22-year-old Smith’s resident, who has previous convictions for touching young girls, told the teenager she was beautiful, and asked what colour underpants she was wearing as she sat by herself on the back of a public bus, Magistrates’ Court heard, yesterday.
Passing sentence, Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner noted Cox’s ‘serious mental health problems’, and said that sending him to prison was ‘the best I can do for him’.
“This man is suffering from serious mental conditions and he has a propensity for this type of behaviour,” said Mr Warner. “The psychiatrist has outlined a line of treatment based on what’s available in Bermuda, and we have no secure mental health facilities at this point in time, so I’m sending him to prison.
“The appropriate sentence is three years from September 29, 2012 to be followed by two years’ probation whereby any mental health treatment will be afforded him. That’s the best I can do for him.”
Earlier in the proceedings, Crown counsel Takiyah Burgess had asked for a custodial sentence of 18 months to two years; the maximum penalty for the offence is five years.
“As a young girl she now has to look over her shoulder,” said Ms Burgess. “No young girl should have to feel like that growing up.”
In Ms Burgess noted Cox’s previous convictions for prowling, stalking and touching a young victim.
In defence, lawyer Kamal Worrell admitted that his client “may have gone a bit too far” but said Cox was, “very apologetic”, and, “only had a conversation, and had no intentions of causing her fear”.
The girl wasn’t wearing her school uniform on the day in question, he pointed out.
Asked for a comment on the sentence, Mr Worrell said: “Given certain special factors pertaining to the defendant we feel that a sentence of three years imprisonment, in the circumstances of this case, is manifestly harsh and excessive. As such, we intend to appeal. “