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One chance to learn to behave

One chance to learn to behave

Friday 15 March 2019

One chance to learn to behave


Guernsey's Magistrate has given two young men 'one chance, and one chance only', warning them both they came very close to going to prison when they appeared before him on a catalogue of charges.

21-year-old Ben Rive was being sentenced for just one offence - assaulting a 16-year-old boy, while a 17-year-old, who can't be named for legal reasons, was sentenced for six different offences, including threatening the same 16-year-old.

Rive was found guilty of the assault against the teenager during an earlier trial, but his lawyer said he continued to plead innocence when he was being sentenced yesterday.

The Magistrate had already decided he had assaulted the boy at Les Genats Estate last June, but defence Advocate Lockwood said it was entirely out of character for Rive to do that. He told the Judge that Rive was working hard and had a very 'pro-social attitude' and that he was desperate to stay out of prison so he could continue providing for his girlfriend and their child.

The Court heard again how he had kicked his young victim, in an attack which Magistrate Graeme McKerrell said "clearly crosses the threshold" for a custodial sentence. He also said at 21, Rive should know better.

"I'm told you do, and have begun to realise what you have to lose if I send you to prison today," said Judge McKerrell, who gave him five months in youth detention, but suspended it for two years.

Graeme McKerrell

Pictured: Guernsey's Magistrate Graeme McKerrell.

The younger defendant also continued to plead innocence against some of the charges he was sentenced for yesterday, but he had already been found guilty. His charges were using abusive, threatening or insulting words or behaviour to the same 16-year-old boy at Les Genats Estate last June, damaging public toilets at Rousse, shoplifting, assaulting a Police Officer, and riding a motor scooter while banned and with no insurance. 

The 17-year-old's defence lawyer, Sam Steel, told the court his client has been 'trying to turn a corner' and to stop drinking alcohol so often.

While drunk he attacked a police officer who had been called to check out what was happening in Aladdin's Caves' carpark where there had been accusations of illegally moving his friend's scooter, which had broken down nearby.

The court heard the victim in the assault case against the older defendant was 'very lucky' not to have suffered more serious injuries, as the 17-year-old had stamped on his head.

For all of his offences, the 17-year-old received a combined six months youth detention, suspended for two years, 80 hours community service and a driving ban for 18 months.

Judge McKerrell told the pair he only ever gives one chance.

"You both came very close to going to prison, and on another day you might have done. But I'm prepared to give you a chance.

"I only give one chance, and you've had it," he warned them. 

Pictured top: Guernsey's courts. 

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