On June 13, Kelvin Lloyd allegedly met a woman in front of Simply Delicious restaurant to collect money for an apartment he falsely claimed he would rent to her, Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste DaBreo said in court Monday while deciding Mr. Lloyd’s sentence.

After pocketing the last $200 of the woman’s total “deposit” of $1,700, Mr. Lloyd handed her a receipt and told her he had forgotten the keys at his house, but he assured her he would call her once he had gone back home and retrieved them, according to the magistrate.

He never called, she said. Instead, the woman called him at least 40 times, but Mr. Lloyd never answered, according to Ms. Baptiste DaBreo.

Mr. Lloyd never gave her the keys and she never moved in. Without the home, the woman — who needed to secure a residence in order to continue receiving benefits from a government programme for people with disabilities —was kicked off the programme and is currently living in an “institution,” the magistrate said.

To accrue the sum she gave to Mr. Lloyd, the woman saved her benefits over the course of almost eight months, according to the magistrate.

“Your actions have had very serious consequences on [the woman],” she said.

Sentencing guidelines

Based on the evidence provided by the court, Ms. Baptiste DaBreo initially deemed a12.6-month prison term appropriate for Mr. Lloyd, but after considering protocols laid out in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court sentencing guidelines for weighing the aggravating and mitigating factors of a case, she decided to narrow that window.

Mr. Lloyd’s actions did not fall under any of the aggravating factors the magistrate read out to the court, while his progress towards repaying the victim and his previously clean criminal record qualify as mitigating factors, Ms. Baptiste DaBreo explained.

As such, she reduced Mr. Lloyd’s sentence to 6.5 months imprisonment, but she made it clear she was more concerned that the woman receive compensation than that Mr. Lloyd serve time in jail.

“In my view, serving the sentence will not help” the victim, Ms. Baptiste DaBreo said.

For that reason, she decided to suspend Mr. Lloyd’s sentence of 6.5 months imprisonment, and to extend his due date for procuring the remaining $650 he owed the woman.

If Mr. Lloyd does not pay by Feb. 20, he will serve two months behind bars, and if he is convicted of an indictable crime within the next year, he will serve the 6.5 months of the suspended sentence, the magistrate said.

“A man’s true character is shown by the way he treats old people, children and the vulnerable,” Ms. Baptiste DaBreo said just before Mr. Lloyd, who represented himself, was excused from the courtroom.