Repeat offender jailed for cell phone theft
Devorn Baptiste
From the Courts, News
September 1, 2023

Repeat offender jailed for cell phone theft

An eleven-time offender who claimed that police officers threatened to kill him after he was arrested for stealing a woman’s phone has been sentenced to prison.

Devorn Baptiste, 30 was found guilty after he appeared at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on August 30 before Magistrate John Ballah where he pleaded not guilty to his charge.

He is charged that he did trespass into a home at Sion Hill and steal an A3 ZTE cellular device and a SIM card valued at over $200 with intent to induce it into His Majesty’s Prisons.

When Baptiste was being cross examined by Prosecutor Corlene Samuel, Baptiste claimed that the phone was given to him by someone.

Evidence was presented by three police officers and the complainant during the trial. However, when Baptiste was cross examining the officers, he claimed that some of the police evidence was false, adding that they even threatened to kill him.

However, Baptiste chose to stay silent when he was given the opportunity to share his side of the story.

The magistrate concluded that Baptiste’s case was not substantial enough to prove his innocence, and found him guilty of the offence.

He referred to the guidelines for sentencing and found that based on the consequence of the offence as it relates to the value of the goods, it falls under category two; and based on the seriousness, the offence falls under level C with a starting point of one year and four months in prison.

When the aggravating and mitigating factors were considered, none was found. Aggravating of the offender is that this Baptiste has had 11 other convictions, four of which are not offences associated with dishonesty.

The others are two criminal trespass offences and five are burglary offences.

As a result three months was added to his sentence resulting in a final sentence of one year and seven months to run concurrent with a previous four-year sentence for burglary. Time spent on remand must be deducted.