TUESDAY, JANUARY 31: A soldier was given a suspended sentence today for missing Bermuda Regiment days.

Romone Smith, 21, pleaded guilty to missing five extra days of regimental duty and failing to report for duty on 13 occasions between October 21 and January 7.

The court heard from Crown counsel Susan Mulligan that Smith was enlisted on December 4, 2009 and required to attend regularly. After he missed duty, Smith was ordered to complete five extra days, but failed to do so.

Over the past two years, he has completed 54-and-a-half drills. He is required to complete 40 per year.

Addressing the court, Smith said he missed the five extra days because he had the stomach flu but couldn’t provide a doctor’s note because he doesn’t have health insurance.

“For the rest of the days, I was working,” he said. “I had finally found a job and I was trying to absorb all the hours so that I could get a good paycheque.”

Smith said he called the regiment a few times to say he was working but not every time.

Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner said: “I understand that these may be hard times in terms of getting a job but as I said to you, the law is the law and if you’re so passionate about working and keeping your job and you’re aware of your duties in the regiment, you should have a least tried to make some arrangement with them.”

Smith was given a three-month suspended prison sentence for each offence, to run concurrently.