Thursday, Jul 18, 2019
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Child rapist admits to robbery

An ex-convict told a magistrate yesterday that he robbed a woman because he needed money to support his cocaine habit.

Andrew Bridgewater, 38, of Marshall Road, yesterday pleaded guilty to robbing Patrice Butler, 52, of her handbag that contained personal items valued at $100.

Bridgewater was freed from prison earlier this year after serving five years of a seven year long prison term for the sexual assault of a six-year-old girl.

The prosecutor, Sergeant Timothy Saunders, said Butler told police that she had planned to visit a relative who lived near the Golden Gates Assemblies Church.  She said she met Bridgewater as she walked away after finding the relative was not home.

Bridgewater invited her to his home to wait for the relative to return home.

According to Butler’s statement to police, Bridgewater led her through a track road near the Super Value warehouse where he demanded money from her. That’s when he grabbed her bag, and pushed her to the ground and beat her about the body.

Butler said she managed to get hold of a pair of scissors, which she used to stab Bridgewater in the right arm.  However, he managed to overpower her and escape.

Bridgewater accepted the facts presented by the prosecutor.  However, he claimed he met Butler near a base house. He told the court that he asked Butler for $10 because he wanted cocaine.  Bridgewater said that his criminal history, which began in 1992, could be traced to his drug addiction. Bridgewater said he had never received help for his drug habit during any of his periods of incarceration.

He said his cocaine supplier operated in the Carmichael area. He told Magistrate Carolyn Vogt-Evans that he loved ecstasy and cocaine.  He said, “If I could get a piece of coke, I’ll hit that in Central live. They’ll have to charge me again.”

Vogt-Evans was unimpressed by Bridgewater’s candor. The magistrate said she was “disturbed” that he appeared proud of his criminal history and had demonstrated no remorse.

Vogt-Evans transferred Bridgewater’s case to the Supreme Court for sentencing because she thought he deserved more than five years.

Recent amendments to the Penal Code have increased magistrates’ sentencing powers to seven years.

In the meantime, Vogt-Evans directed prison officials to admit Bridgewater to a drug counseling program.

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