A man who said he was under the influence of drugs when he committed two separate break-ins as yesterday sentenced to six years imprisonment by acting Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.
Mark Dummett, 44, of 37 Ketley Street, Charlestown admitted that between June 15 and 16, he broke and entered the snackette of Cindy Maloney and stole a cell phone, one television, a music system and other items, which were valued $366,000.
Further, Dummett accepted that between June 19 and 20, he broke and entered the Universal Electronics Store and stole therein a quantity of cell phones, televisions, cash and other items, which were valued $488,000.
When given a chance to respond, Dummett told the court that he was under the influence of drugs. According to him, “ah was on leave from meh wuk and start smoking crack and drinking-up and suh.”
In giving the facts of the case as it relates to the theft of Maloney’s goods, Police Corporal Venetta Pindar told the court that on June 15, the virtual complainant (VC) secured his snackette and went to bed when upon waking up the next morning he realized a window to the snackette broken and the items missing. Pindar added that the defendant was caught on a surveillance camera mounted at the snackette. She said that the matter was later reported to the police, who, acting on information went to where they defendant had taken the articles.
As it relates to the other charge, Corporal Pindar said that the VC secured his business premises by means provided when around 3:00 hrs on June 20 he received a call informing that his business had been broken into.
Upon arriving at the scene, Pindar said that the complainant found his glass door broken and the articles mentioned in the charge missing. A police report was later made which later led to the defendant being later arrested and charged.
While Dummett accepted that he stole the items from the store, he said that he was innocent of breaking into the premises. According to him, it was a vehicle which had crashed into the glass door. He said however that he did indeed remove the items after gaining entry to the store via the broken glass door.
The prosecution related to the court that the defendant is known to the police and has pending matters. It reported too that he has previous convictions. When asked, Dummett confirmed that he was convicted of a simple larceny charge in 2002.
Meanwhile, after relating to the court that the defendant had been in custody since Sunday, the acting chief magistrate firmly asserted that it was unacceptable for the police to have had the defendant in prison beyond the legal 72-hours holding period.
The magistrate said that it is unfair to have prisoners languishing in prison when a magistrate is available for them to be taken before.
After demanding an explanation, Corporal Pindar, after consulting with the investigating rank, later reported to the court that Dummett was taken to court only yesterday since after being arrested “the ranks were on an exercise.”
The magistrate, however, questioned if there was no other rank that could have taken the defendant to court to answer the charge. She also questioned why the officer in-charge did not ensure that the defendant was taken to court.
The magistrate sternly contended that the explanation given by the prosecution was no excuse for the police not have taken the defendant before the courts.
In handing down the sentence, the magistrate said that the court had taken into account both the mitigating and aggravating circumstances.
She said that the mitigating circumstances considered were the defendant’s age and the fact that he has pleaded guilty at the first instance; not wasting the court’s time.
In listing the aggravating circumstances, the magistrate noted that the defendant has a propensity for committing the types of offences for which he was charged, he had previous convictions as well as pending matters and the need of court to send a message both to the offender, and potential offenders.
She said too that that accused admitted to drinking and smoking crack.
Citing that both charges had different facts and arouse out of separate circumstances, Magistrate Sewnarine-Beharry informed Dummett that he would be sentenced to three years imprisonment for each offense, which will run consecutively.
The magistrate ordered that the items recovered be photographed and returned to the respective owners.