Burglar praised for ‘turning life around’

His past includes 40 convictions, the majority of which were for burglary.

But from all reports, Damien DeBarge Wilkinson appears to be charting a different future with officials from Verdun House speaking glowingly of his progress.

Yesterday, Justice Pamela Beckles gave him an opportunity to continue on that path when she imposed a suspended sentence for his burglary offence. “In light of the glowing report from Verdun House where you continue to be treated and have become a beacon of hope for other troubled youth, I will suspend your sentence for three years,” she told Wilkinson.

“This is because, as I said, the prosecutor and myself and the people at Verdun House have really seen a change in you. We are really hoping that you don’t disappoint us because, for someone with 40 previous convictions, this is not the sentence you would normally get.

“But the report from Verdun House, and we even had a representative, and they still continue to speak highly of you. So continue doing what you have been doing, going out and speaking to your peers, speaking in schools. I do not want to see my name on your antecedent card after this day. I don’t want to see any other name on your antecedent card,” the judge told him.

Wilkinson, of Liverpool Road, Brittons Hill, St Michael, was back in the No. 5 Supreme Court for sentencing after he had pleaded guilty to entering Heather-Ann Sealy’s home, on March 9, 2008, and stealing seven pendants, two pairs of earrings, two chains, 14 rings and a bracelet belonging to Renate-Lynn Sealy, as well as five pairs of earrings, three chains, a pendant, bracelet and two rings belonging to Heather-Ann Sealy.(HLE)