Chief Magistrate Candia Carrette-George has imposed an additional seven-month jail sentence against Shaquille Bastien alias Tiki, who escaped the lawful confinement of the Dominica State Prison, eluding police for a few hours. The 28-year-old of Fortune/Grand Bay appeared before the Roseau Magistrate Court on October 17, 2023, where he pleaded guilty to the charge.
According to the facts of the case presented to the Court by Police Prosecutor, Sergeant David Andrew Jr., in November 2022, Bastien was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of three years at the Dominica State Prison for theft. On October 14, 2023, at about 12:30 p.m., Francis Martin, the Acting Chief Prison Officer at the Prison reported to the Police that Bastien had escaped from the prison compound at Stock Farm.
The following day, at about 6:54 a.m., Bastien walked into the Roseau Police Station and surrendered himself to law enforcement. He was searched and placed in the holding cells and the matter was referred to Constable Thaz Robinson for investigation.
On October 16, Constable Robinson went on duty at the Roseau Police station cells and introduced himself to the defendant. He informed him of the report that he was investigating, cautioned him, and informed him of his rights to an attorney. Bastien made no reply. Shortly thereafter the defendant was escorted to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
There, the officer conducted an interview with Bastien during which he admitted to escaping legal confinement.
“I never had no plan of escaping I just was ‘fraid cause them fellers is murderers so I escape,” the escapee stated.
At the conclusion of the investigation, a charge of escaping legal confinement was preferred against Bastien.
Unrepresented at the hearing, Bastien presented a plea in mitigation to the Court on his own behalf.
When explaining his motive for escaping the State Prison, he conveyed to the Chief Magistrate, “Them fellas does threaten and beat me. One give me 21 slaps…I told the Prison Officers but they tell me to handle my business when we reach outside,” he claimed.
However, Magistrate Carrette-George reprimanded Bastien for his action emphasizing the importance of respecting the legal process and reiterating that there are lawful avenues to address grievances. She further cautioned Bastien about the consequences of future
For the offense of escaping legal confinement, Bastien was sentenced to an additional seven months in jail. This sentence will run consecutively with his three-year jail sentence for theft.
Before leaving the courtroom, Bastien pleaded to be admitted to the psychiatric unit.
However, the Magistrate informed him that, with no prior history of mental illness, she could not fulfill this request. Instead, she advised him that he could receive the necessary treatment at the prison.