Jamal Amal Skeete, of no fixed place abode, was today sentenced to almost two years in jail after pleading guilty to a number of theft and loitering charges in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court.
The 28-year-old was charged with entering Granville Griffith’s house sometime between November 19 and 20 as a trespasser and stealing an umbrella worth $20 and a folding chair worth $37. He admitted to that charge as well as stealing from Griffith for a second time on November 16. On that occasion, he made away with an $8.50 box of Andrews; a $9 pouch of toothpaste; a $21 bottle of Pepto Bismol and a $50 shaving set.
Police prosecutor Neville Reid told the court that Griffith is an 80-year-old retired reverend who saw Skeete walking on his property on November 16 with a bag on his shoulder.
After Skeete gave Griffith his name, the complainant left Skeete in the front of the house and went to his bedroom to get money. Skeete then asked to use the bathroom and was allowed to do so. Griffith later realized that the items were missing from this bathroom.
Skeete also told the court that he entered Plumb Rite Plumbing Systems as a trespasser between December 6 and 7 and stole a $20 shirt, two pairs of shoes worth $150, a $370 ham, seven packs of biscuits worth $3.50, two packs of minced beef worth $8, and $5 in cash.
Also, he told the court he was guilty of loitering on the premises of the establishment between December 7 and 8.
According to the facts, the owner of the establishment secured the premises on December 6. However, a door was left unlocked but closed.
The following day, the owner discovered that the building had been entered and conducted a search and discovered that the mentioned items were missing. He reported the matter to the police and investigations led to Skeete’s arrest. None of the items was recovered.
Skeete also confessed that on December 8, being a reputed thief, he loitered on Chapman Street, and there was cause to suspect he was about to commit theft.
Reid told the court that police received a report about 3:10 a.m. from a resident that his car alarm had been triggered and gave officers a description of the suspect.
A search was made of the area and Skeete was found on Bedford Land, St Michael around 4:05 a.m.
Asked whether he had anything to say, Skeete told the magistrate: “I want to go some place where I can get help.”
However, the magistrate informed him that he would first have to serve time in jail. He told Skeete he could apply to Verdun House when his sentence was completed.
“The nonsense you are doing at this time is not acceptable,” the magistrate said.
For entering Griffith’s house, the magistrate sentenced Skeete, whose right ankle was heavily bandaged, to nine months in prison and three months to run consecutively for stealing from Griffith.
He was also slapped with a one-month prison term, which will run concurrently, for loitering at Chapman Street and another month to run concurrently for loitering on the premises of Plumb Rite Plumbing Services.
For burglarizing the establishment, Skeete will slapped with a nine-month prison term with drug rehabilitation, to run consecutively .
“When you come out, if you still want, you can go to Verdun House,” Frederick told Skeete. “The rate you are going is very dangerous.”