“Citizens have a greater duty to play in this fight against crime”.
So said acting Magistrate Alliston Seale in the District ‘A’ Magistrates Court today, after he adjudicated a matter against a St Michael shopkeeper.
Seale was speaking to Mikhail Ajani Holder, who pleaded guilty to dishonestly receiving stolen items – a box of soap powder and two saucepans- between February 20 and 23 this year. Those items were taken from Melissa Hinds’ home and a man has already been jailed for the theft.
A month ago, Holder pleaded not guilty but changed his plea today.
Station Sergeant Keith Belle told the court today that the thief took the items to Holder’ residence to sell to him. Holder threatened the thief who ran away, leaving the
When police went to Holder’s home to question him about the items, he denied knowing anything about them. They were found at his residence.
Speaking on Holder’s behalf, attorney-at-law Lesley Cargill told the court that her client never intended to sell the items but had thrown them in the backyard at the time. That was where police found them when they arrived.
Cargill said Holder was 24-years-old and had been working since age 18. She added that he was industrious and was the main provider for his two-year-old child, who remained with him while the mother worked.
The lawyer explained that Holder, who spent the last month on remand, understands now the consequences of his actions.
The acting magistrate reminded Holder of his duty to assist the police, as should every citizen.
“Nobody wants to play their part until it affects them. If they see strange people knocking around . . . that ain’t my business until their TV gone and then they want everybody to say what they saw.”
“Given the fact that you knew the man was an old thief, you should have called the police (for the items),” the acting magistrate told the defendant.
Holder was convicted, reprimanded and discharged.