A 45-year-old Den Amstel man accused of breaking into a church and stealing a quantity of items was yesterday remanded to prison when he appeared before acting Chief Magistrate Melissa Robertson at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.

It is alleged that on August 28 at Georgetown, John Headley of Den Amstel, West Coast Demerara, broke and entered the St. Peters AME Church and stole therein items valued $87,000, property of the said church.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge of sacrilege when it was read to him by the acting chief magistrate.

Attorney-at-law Adrian Thompson who represented the accused made an application that his client be admitted to reasonable bail as he suffers from a terminal illness.

The defence counsel also advanced the argument that prison would not be the best place for him owing to his ill health as he feared that his client may not be able to have his regular supply of medications if incarcerated.

Yvette Joseph, a representative of the church, told the court that on the day question at approximately 6:30 am members of the congregation had secured their church building and proceeded on a walk-a-thon.

Upon their return, Joseph said she realized the church door was partly open. Upon investigating, she said she saw the defendant in the church with a packed travelling bag on his back containing items belonging to the church.

An alarm was raised and Headley was subsequently arrested.

Prosecutor Stephen Telford corroborated what Joseph said and made a request that the accused be denied bail. According to Telford, the court needs to take into consideration the seriousness and prevalence of the offence as well as the place in which it was committed.

The prosecution’s request was granted and Headley was remanded to prison and ordered to return to Court Ten on September 15 for statements.

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