An unemployed man, of no fixed place of abode, ably represented himself when he appeared on two charges before Magistrate Douglas Frederick today.
But in the end, the fact that he has no place to call home and no one to sign his bail, meant that he was remanded to HMP Dodds.
Jason Omar Albert appeared in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court accused of unlawfully entering the premises of Popular Discounts on June 1, after being forbidden to do so by Euphyne Bascombe, the occupier.
Albert is also charged with assaulting Bascombe on the same date. He denied both charges. Bail was initially offered but when Magistrate Frederick asked about a surety, Albert said he had none.
“Why is that?” asked Frederick.
“I just don’t,” Albert replied.
“So how do you survive? On the streets?” the magistrate continued.
“Yes . . . . I would say that I eat pretty well. There are breakfast programmes and such like,” the eloquent Albert responded.
With the eyes of those present in the courtroom fixed on him, the accused went on to explain that “if I am hungry, I ask a question.”
As for his relatives, Albert said he no longer lives with them since “they have become really distant so I would rather be on the streets and feel more like a man”, instead of having others tell him how he ought to be living.
“I feel more alive, healthier, my stress is down . . . ” he added.
When acting Station Sergeant Neville Watson objected to bail on the grounds that the accused had no fixed place of abode and that would “frustrate the process” of serving a summons or executing a warrant, Albert had a response.
“I am willing to comply and cooperate. I am not going to run anywhere. You can find me in Queen’s Park in the mornings and in the afternoon by Merle, or the market or Parris Bakery and around by the Accident & Emergency Department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at night,” he said.
“I am not going to pick up a gun and rob anybody for food or I’m not going to steal or anything. I hate stealing because so many people have stolen from me,” he remarked.
Albert was remanded and his matters adjourned until June 30.