A thief who broke into the Charles F. Broome Primary School twice this year was yesterday sentenced to 12 months in prison by Magistrate Douglas Frederick when he appeared in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court.
After initially denying the charges, Corey Omar Jerome McCollin pleaded guilty and told the court he was willing to repay “two times the amount”, obviously hoping that he would escape going to jail.
The charges were that McCollin, between July 17 and 20 this year, damaged ten doors, a desk and a cupboard belonging to the school and stole $80 belonging to Pamela Goring.
Further, that he intentionally damaged another door on August 3 and while at the school, stole a number of items with a total value of $245.70 including glue, staples, stapling machines, liquid soap, exercise books, masking tape and drawing books.
Station Sergeant Neville Watson said police were patrolling the Government Hill area around 4.40 a.m. on August 3, when they received a call that someone was inside the school building.
They went there and heard noise coming from the Special Unit Room. The lawmen entered and when they checked an adjoining bathroom, found McCollin hiding behind the door.
When he was asked to account for his presence, McCollin reportedly said he was “looking for something to steal”. While he was being led from the premises, he showed the police a bag containing all the items he had already stolen.
During an interview later, McCollin admitted responsibility for damaging the school’s property. He also told police he took the items to feed his cocaine habit.
McCollin, who has prior convictions, has already spent 12 months in jail for theft.
Addressing the court, McCollin said he wanted to apologise and was willing to “pay back for the items.”
Asked if he worked, he replied that he paints and “sells stuff”.
“So if you are working, why would you steal these little foolish things? What are you going to do with crayons? What are you going to do with a drawing book? Only depriving the children . . . those doors and desk now have to be replaced,” Magistrate Frederick said.
After the sentence was passed, McCollin urged the magistrate not to send him to jail since he had a medical condition.
That, along with his early guilty plea, was taken into consideration, the magistrate said, after explaining to McCollin that he could have received three years on each count.