Nineteen-year-old St John’s resident who first navigated his way into the Royal Grenada Police Force, posing as a police officer and later impersonated a medical doctor, issuing medication and giving advice without the requisite license, has been given a second chance to redeem himself and put systems in place to channel his energy in the right direction.
After two adjourned sentencing dates, Chief Magistrate Teddy St Louis last Friday concluded that the court was armed with the necessary information to sentence the accused man Akkim Andrew, a young man who was diagnosed with a medical condition known as an anti-social personality disorder, a condition believed to have contributed to his violation of the law.
Andrew was arrested earlier this year and slapped with seven counts of criminal offences after complaints that he had issued medication to persons and accepted money for medical services provided without being the holder of a medical license in such capacity.
Although Andrew pleaded guilty to the charges levelled against him, Magistrate St Louis was concerned about the type of sentence to impose given Andrew’s medical condition
According to the medical experts, his condition has him in a confused state of mind, believing he has a calling to help people and once the opportunity is presented, he will reach out irrespective of his qualification. The experts also hinted to the court that lots of the remedial work to correct Andrew’s condition would be dependent on him and how fast he can make the necessary adjustments. It was also noted that prison was not the best option, given the fact the treatment needed is not available at the prison.
That being the case, Magistrate St Louis felt he needed all available information to assist in making an informed decision, one he said that would be best for the young man in the long run.
With assistance from defence lawyer Jerry Edwin, the court was satisfied that if released into the community, Andrew would receive the necessary professional help to get him back on track and help channel his energy in a positive direction.
In light of this, Andrew was given a one year suspended sentence; he is to undergo specialized therapy for one year. Also, he was ordered to give one hundred hours’ community service. In violation of any of those conditions, he would serve six months in prison.
Speaking to the media after the court ruling on Thursday Edwin said he is confident that the nation would see a positive outcome after the treatment, he believes that Akim has a lot to contribute to society, however, he thinks what is needed is expert guidance, getting Akim to look into himself, and using specialized resources to get the best out of the young man.
Shortly after the sentence of the court on Friday, Andrew, in the company of his mother who was always present in court throughout the procedure, walked out the court’s compound with his usual inviting smile, free from the jaws of the court, but not from the hammer that now hangs over his head for the next twelve months, a reminder that he is just one mistake away from a six months in prison.