Lodge teenager gets two years for $500,000 theft

An 18-year-old youth, who blamed bad influences for him stealing over $500,000 in items, was yesterday sentenced to two years in jail for the crime.

Joshua Austin, of Lot 151 Lodge Housing Scheme, was read a charge which stated that, between July 29, 2017 and July 30, 2017, at Lodge Housing Scheme, he broke and entered the house of Shawn Ferguson and stole one radio set, three television sets, and one PlayStation game, with a total value of $559,996.

After the charge was read by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan, Austin pleaded guilty to the crime.

Police Prosecutor Arvin Moore, told the court that prior to the incident the complainant secured his home, at Lodge Housing Scheme and went to Essequibo. While there he received information that someone had broken into his home. When Ferguson returned home and made a check, he observed that the items listed in the charge were missing, and later made a report at the East La Penitence Police Station.

On July 31, police, acting on information, contacted Austin and told him of the allegation against him, then cautioned him. Austin then admitted to the crime and told the police where he had sold one of the television sets, and where they would be able to find it. The police later found the television set, which was identified by Ferguson, but were unable to locate the other items mentioned in the charge.

Subsequent to reading the facts in relation to the matter, the prosecutor told the court that the defendant had committed similar offences in the past, and has served two jail terms.

When asked by the Chief Magistrate if he wished to say anything, Austin told the court that he was influenced by four other persons, whilst adding that he had told the police that one of the persons has two of the television sets and the radio set.

Austin was then told by the Chief Magistrate that he cannot steal things from persons , and that she hopes that he gets counselling while in prison and learns a skill, so that he can get a job when he gets out.

He was then sentenced to two years in jail.

Meanwhile, Emanuel Darrell, of Lot 1848 Festival City, was charged with obtaining the stolen television set, knowing that it was stolen.

The charge stated that Darrell, 27, between July 29, 2017, and July 31, 2017, at Festival City, Georgetown, received from Austin, one 49’’ TCL television set, valued at $146,996, knowing same to have been feloniously stolen, or unlawfully obtained, property of Ferguson.

Darrell denied the allegation.

Attorney Euclin Gomes, who represented the accused, requested that his client be granted reasonable bail.

The prosecution made no objection to bail being granted, and as such Darrell was released on $50,000 bail.

The matter is expected to be called again in August, before Magistrate Dylon Bess in Court Six.

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