Wednesday 26 February, 2020

Giving back at church helps musician spend Christmas with his child

A musician's return to court ended on a high note yesterday.

Keyboardist Kerry Wendell Mason, 38, Bayfield, St Philip got a second chance to "redeem himself".

Mason first appeared on December 5 where he pleaded guilty to loitering at Lobster Alive and was suspected to commit: Malicious Communication on December 4, 2018.

He was remanded for sentencing. 

Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant revisited the facts yesterday when Mason reappeared. 

The complainant in the matter was a visitor to the island at the time. While she was using the bathroom at the establishment, Mason placed his hand through the window of the bathroom and started taking pictures with a cell phone. When she realised what was happening she got dressed and ran screaming out of the room. Her screams alerted staff and they intercepted and held Mason. They were other persons who witnessed what had occurred.

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Mason was a jazz keyboardist at the establishment and was on break at the time. He admitted to the offence and co-operated with police.

Michael Lashley QC mitigated on behalf of Mason yesterday.

He pointed out that the strongest mitigating factor was that Mason pleaded guilty and did not waste the judicial time.

The court's attention was also drawn to Mason's spotless record.

Lashley said though Mason's reputation may have been sullied he hoped to redeem himself in the future.

Mason, who has a Grade 8 in music, was described as an outstanding member of the community by Lashley. Other than being a past music teacher, Mason also plays keyboard at a certain church.

"Is this your way of giving back?" Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant asked, to which Mason responded "yes".

The court also heard that Mason's five-year-old child was now in the custody of his grandmother. The child's mother was admitted to the Psychiatric Hospital after Mason was incarcerated.

Lashley asked the court to cast its mind away from Mason and toward his child.

"The child would want to be like any child on December 25...under a tree opening gifts. The perfect Christmas gift would be to have one parent at home...

"Temper mercy with justice."

Suggesting the mitigating factors far outweighed the aggravating ones, Lashley asked the court to be as lenient as possible. He also then apologised to the visitor on behalf of Mason.

"Any man or woman whether from a hut or palace deserves a second chance and every child deserves to spend time with their father at Christmas." 

Taking into consideration the mitigating factors and Mason's child, Magistrate Cuffy-Sargeant reprimanded and discharged Mason.

She said it was admirable that Mason gave back to the community through the church and encouraged him to continue on that course. 

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