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Victim dismayed at sentencing of thugs

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A Jamaican man left injured for life by a mob attack that his children also witnessed believes justice has not been served on his assailants.

Kevin Abrahams, whose two Bermudian sons remain in Jamaica for fear of returning home, told The Royal Gazette he felt the defendants would have received longer prison sentences if their victim had been Bermudian.

“The judge seemed to care more about the criminals, how young they were, and their rehabilitation instead of what their victim went through,” Mr Abrahams said.

Doctors have told him he will suffer headaches for the rest of his life, and he still suffers from blank patches in his memory.

“At first I had to leave sticky notes around to keep reminding myself of things,” he said.

The trial closed yesterday for Sergio Robinson-Woolridge, Kyle Daniels Smith, Sanchea Douglas and Judah Roberts, for the brutal August 4, 2012 mugging on Rambling Lane, Pembroke.

Their victim said he endured threats for him to drop the case — as well as a painful recovery, including time in a wheelchair, and a metal plate in his skull.

He still awaits surgery for nerves in his left arm, damaged when he was struck with a plank of wood.

Robbery-accused Robinson-Woolridge was jailed seven years on Friday, concurrent to a five-year sentence he is already serving for wounding, and possession of a bladed article.

Daniels Smith and Douglas each got four-year sentences.

Roberts, who admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm, got two years' probation on top of the 14 months he has already served.

Their victim was highly critical of the sentences meted out by Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons.

“I don't think Bermuda has the judges capable of dealing with extreme violent crimes. For some reason, people relate to the criminals.

“They're saying people should come forward and help Bermuda. But if we do, and the system slaps them on the wrist, people won't come forward, because you're only putting your life at risk.”

He wiped away tears, recalling his 10-year-old son “running, trying to get into the crowd, saying he wanted his daddy — that's what kept me alive”.

The 13-year resident of Bermuda vowed to remain on the Island and to continue working in construction, saying: “I'm not going to allow anybody to force me to leave.”

As the provider for his children, Mr Abrahams added: “If I let anybody chase me away, then I'm leaving them to a society that doesn't have their back.”

He said associates of the four accused had tried to coerce him into dropping the case — even contacting him on a new number after he changed his phone.

“They were offering me money. Then they said if they couldn't get to me they would get to my boys. That's the reason they're not on the Island now.”

Although the sight of his scars has left him furious and wishing he could “lash out”, Mr Abrahams said he never had any contact with the four until he saw them in the dock at the Supreme Court.

He confirmed there had been a rumour that he'd threatened his attackers with obeah, or Jamaican witchcraft.

Mr Abrahams, nicknamed Indian, counts indigenous Caribbean Arawak Indians among his immediate family.

“A lot of them believe in witchcraft and all that there,” he said. “But I never spoke to those guys.”

Each of his attackers offered their apology before being sentenced, with some asking his forgiveness — but Mr Abrahams said he found clemency impossible.

“It was brutal. They nearly killed me. I think it was unforgivable. What makes it so hard is my two young boys had to witness that on their father.”

He also speculated that publicity surrounding the case could sour Jamaicans toward Bermudians who visit the island.

“It might make it hard for them, if people find out where they're from,” he said.

Mr Abrahams was set upon while visiting his ex-wife's residence, where he had previously brought groceries and gifts for his sons.

Initially encountering Douglas and Smith-Daniels when he arrived shortly after 5pm, Mr Abrahams was quickly surrounded by a mob and ordered to hand over his gold necklace to “the boss”, Robinson-Woolridge.

Roberts has admitted smashing a bottle over his head, and the victim was also struck in the head and arm with a piece of lumber.

The attackers took his phones, some money and rings off his fingers — but they never got the gold chain.

“I got that chain when my first son was born,” he said. “It's the same age as him. I was planning to give it to him when he got older. And I've still got it to give to him. I'm not going to give it up for nobody.”

Sentenced: Judah Roberts
Jailed: Kyle Daniels-Smith
Jailed: Sanchea Douglas

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Published October 08, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated October 08, 2013 at 12:29 am)

Victim dismayed at sentencing of thugs

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