A nineteen-year-old St John’s resident who appeared in court last week for impersonating a medical doctor and illegally treating over thirty patients has pleaded guilty to seven counts of criminal offence levelled against him.
Appearing before Acting Chief Magistrate Teddy St Louis at the St George’s Number One Magistrate Court on Tuesday, the accused Ahkim Andrew pleaded guilty to four counts relative to practising medicine without being the holder of a medical license, two counts of fraud, having collected cash for his services and one count driving without being the holder of a driver’s license. He was assisted in court by defence lawyer Jerry Edwin.
According to information emanating from the court, the incident for which Andrew appeared in court spanned the period January 13th to January 16th 2020. During that period the evidence said, two patients were treated at their homes in Hope Vale St George’s during house visits by the fake doctor.
One witness the evidence said, told the police she had her doubts, having observed the ‘doctor’s’ behaviour, however, he told them he had studied at the St Georges University and spent four years in Denver, before returning to practice in Grenada. The services she received that day were blood, sugar and heart test for which she paid the requested fee of $40. The other patient paid $130. One of the patients, still not happy, decided to visit the doctor at his office, which he claimed was on Gore Street, but found no office in the area under that name.
The police were informed and Andrew was caught during his follow up visit to that particular home in Hope Vale, he was taken to the St. Pauls Police Station and subsequently charged with fraud and not having the requisite license to practice medicine.
The evidence noted that Ahkim admitted he had been working with some doctors, however, he decided to go on his own. He also admitted to treating over thirty patients and told the police that he was going around the community carrying out various tests.
At the court on Tuesday lawyer Edwin told the court that outside of not having the requisite license and convincing patients that he was, in fact, a medical doctor, his intent was noble; reaching out to help people.
Meanwhile, given the nature of the charge that carries on summary conviction, a penalty not exceeding five years or a fine of $250,000.00, plus the strong possibility of additional charges being laid, it was agreed by both sides to stay sentencing to conduct a thorough psychiatric evaluation before proceeding to pass sentence on Andrew.
Sources told the Grenada Informer only months ago, Andrew was reprimanded by the Royal Grenada Police Force for a similar behaviour this time pretending to be a police officer, gain entrance to the South St Georges Police Station, commencing regular police duties before he was identified as fake.
This newspaper was told, on that occasion, criminal charges were not laid simply because the police felt that no one was harmed by his action.
Andrew is expected to be sentenced on February 6th 2020, his lawyer is planning on pulling all strings legally when he takes to his feet in a plea of mitigation to avoid a custodial sentence. Among those likely to go in his favour would be Andrew’s youthfulness and in addition to having to children that depend on him for their livelihood.
At the end of the day after both sides would have presented their case, the final say lies with Acting Chief Magistrate Teddy St Louis.