Cabinet minister’s son gets extra jail time for assault

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HAMILTON , Bermuda, Nov 1, (CMC) – The son of a cabinet minister jailed for attempted murder has had his prison sentence extended after he admitted to assaulting two prison officers.

Jahmel Blakeney, 30, is currently serving a 30-year sentence for the attempted murder of Shaki Minors and his pregnant girlfriend Renee Kuchler outside Southside Cinema on the former US naval base in St George’s in November 2009.

On Wednesday, the Magistrates’ Court heard that prison officers at the maximum security Westgate Correctional Facility attempted to search Blakeney and his cell on February 20, around two months after he was sentenced.

Crown counsel Takiyah Burgess said Blakeney — whose father Glenn Blakeney is Minister of  Development here, refused to comply with the search and had to be restrained by officers. Despite being handcuffed, Blakeney was able to headbutt one of the officers conducting the search.

The officers subsequently discovered a twist containing plant material hidden in the flap of Blakeney’s boxer shorts. Tests later confirmed the plant material to be 3.84 grams of cannabis.
Blakeney was charged in July with two counts of assault and one count of possessing cannabis in an increased penalty zone in relation to the incident.

He then admitted to the drug charge but pleaded not guilty to the assault charges.

Blakeney’s trial was scheduled to start on Wednesday but he elected to change his plea before it began.

Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo sentenced Blakeney to 15 months’ imprisonment for the two assault charges and two months’ imprisonment for possessing cannabis, with a further 12 months’ imprisonment for having the drug in the prison.

The magistrate ordered the three sentences to run concurrently, but consecutively to the 30-year sentence already being served.

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