A 22 year old resident of Fairbane Pasture who appeared in the Kingstown Magistrates Court on January 3, 2023 on a charge of burglary was granted bail and will appear for trial in the Calliaqua Magistrate court on January 10.
Elomon Phillips changed his guilty plea just ahead of being sentenced when he appeared before Senior Magistrate, Rickie Burnett.
Phillips, a labourer is accused of stealing a number of personal and household items. He is charged that between December 31, 2022- January 1, 2023 he entered the dwelling house of Cornelius Edwards of Fair Hall as a trespasser and stealing a quantity of items amounting to $3,498.50 and $300.00 in cash- a total value of $3798.50, the property of Cornelius Edwards of Fair hall.
The defendant pled guilty to the charge.
According to the facts presented by prosecutor, corporal Shamrack Pierre, on January 1, sergeant Glendon David was on mobile patrol along with other police officers, around 3:00 a.m, and on reaching the vicinity of Horne’s residence in Fairbane Pasture, the defendant was met walking along the public road with a bag over his back and a bottle of drink in his hand.
He was in the company of another person and this aroused the suspicion of the officers. The defendant was taken into custody where he was questioned about the items he was carrying.
A search was also requested and during that search, a number of items were found in the bag the defendant was carrying.
Phillips was arrested and taken to the Calliaqua Police Station.
At around 7:00 a.m that morning, the virtual complainant reported that his house had been broken into and he identified the items that the defendant had as items that were stolen from his home.
However, $300.00 in cash and 10 cans of sprite were not recovered, and the accused was charged for burglary.
The senior magistrate asked the defendant what caused him to leave his home in Fairbane Pasture and go up to Fair Hall to burglarise someone else’s property. He told the magistrate, “your honour I didn’t just leave my home…I was invited over by him.”
After Phillips said this, the senior magistrate stood down the matter for a few minutes and when it resumed, the prosecutor told the court that two things were operating in his mind which were, whether to go to trial for burglary to prove that the defendant trespassed onto the property, or whether the court should accept the guilty plea from the defendant admitting to taking the items without the permission of the owner.
The prosecutor came to the decision that the court will go forward with the guilty plea and a charge of theft will replace the charge of burglary.
This also came as a result of the defendant accepting the facts which were presented to the court.
As a result, the magistrate continued with the matter. Before sentencing he highlighted that the defendant is relatively young and has no previous convictions. In addition, he noted that the defendant entered an early guilty plea, and most of the items were recovered, except for $300.00 and 10 cans of sprite.
Phillips then told the court that there was no money, and said he was found by the police soon after the theft of the items and he did not have any money.
The prosecutor once again had to reverse his decision, and asked for the matter to go to trial for burglary and a not guilty plea was entered by the senior magistrate.
Phillips was granted his own bail in the sum of $2,500.00 with one surety and the matter was adjourned to January 10, and transferred to the Calliaqua magistrate court.