$100,000 bail for accused in clothes heist

Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry granted $100,000 bail to a man accused of stealing a quantity of clothing from two hucksters, when he yesterday appeared in court to answer the charges.

The Georgetown Magistrates’ Court heard that on January 9, at Georgetown, Eon Howard allegedly stole a quantity of clothing valued $247,000 and was the property of Kestor Morris.  On the same day, also at Georgetown, Howard is accused of stealing another quantity of clothing valued $120,000 and belonging to Kwesi April. He pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read.  Police Prosecutor Kerry Bostwick said that the virtual complainants are clothes vendors who usually secured their clothes carts with ropes and padlocks. After so securing their belongings on January 9, the complainants returned the next day and found them missing. The matter was reported to police, who launched an investigation. The defendant was subsequently arrested with some of items on his person.  When given a chance to speak, Howard said he took a chance and bought the pieces of clothing because it was good quality; but he had no idea that they were stolen property.  “Ya worship, I just took a chance and buy de jeans because it look like good quality thing,” the defendant said. He further explained that he bought the items from two individuals whom he kept pointing at in the court room.

“Yuh honour, I was in a bus with de man [one of the complainants] and ah show he de jeans. Why would I show a man he own thing? I just took a chance and buy de thiefin’ jeans because it look like good quality thing,” he said, stressing that he was innocent of the charges levelled against him.

When the court asked, the prosecution said it had no objections to the defendant being granted his pre-trial liberty.

After listening to the submissions, the magistrate initially placed Howard on $75,000 bail on each charge. However, he pleaded for leniency, saying that he could not afford that sum and that he has a son to maintain. The magistrate then asked him what sum he could afford and Howard said $25,000 or $30,000. However, the prosecution objected to this reduction arguing that the initial sum granted by the court was reasonable, considering the value of the stolen items.

The magistrate then informed the defendant that the court would set his bail in the sum of $50,000 on each charge.
The matter continues on January 31.

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