For breaking into a canteen and the School Meals Department and also having apparatus on him fit for use in connection with cocaine, 56-year-old Michael Francis John Baptiste will be spending the next nine months in prison.
The man, who has no fixed place of abode, committed the acts between April 4 and 17 this year.
Baptiste broke into Mabe’s Canteen on Whitepark Road, St. Michael and stole two gas bottles, fuel, hardware items and a quantity of food items and condiments, totalling $3 763. 20.
From the School Meals Department storeroom, he stole equipment and ladies uniforms valued $3 324. 09, belonging to the Crown.
Even though Baptiste pleaded guilty before acting Magistrate Alliston Seale yesterday, he insisted that he stole some of the things “but not all. Not no thousands of dollars in things”.
The convict also said he started out on marijuana but “it progress”.
Attorney-at-law Oliver Thomas said his client was the father of three adult children who were all overseas.
Thomas asked for a rehabilitative sentence and for the court to bear in mind Baptiste’s timely guilty plea which, he said, should “warrant a reduction in sentence”.
He added that there was no evidence of any use of a weapon and even though they were serious offences of dishonesty, he asked the court to be lenient.
“The Government has little or no money and the few things they storing up at School Meals [department] you cleaning out?” acting Magistrate Allison Seale asked.
Baptiste was sentenced to nine months in jail for breaking into the School Meals Department and nine more to run concurrent for the canteen. He was convicted, reprimanded and discharged on the apparatus count.