Magistrate Douglas Frederick gave a 27-year-old man “one last chance” Wednesday.
Everton Rommell Brathwaite, of no fixed place of abode, had been on remand at the Psychiatric Hospital since pleading for help when he first appeared before Frederick on December 28 last year.
He had pleaded guilty to entering the home of his mother, Yvonne Brathwaite, as a trespasser and stealing a $15.50 box of cereal, a $1.79 soap, a $4.99 tin of chips, a $3.99 hand towel and a malt worth 99 cents on December 23.
“I have a drug problem; my drug of choice is crack cocaine. My mother was trying to get some help for me but she get fed up,” he told the court back then. “I didn’t break in; the front door was open. . . . I went in, hold a bath . . . ate something . . . and the rest of the things I retail for cocaine.”
When Brathwaite reappeared in court Wednesday, he heard that a report from the doctors at the Psychiatric Hospital recommended that he attend a walk-in drug rehabilitation programme.
Brathwaite’s mother, who on December 21 told him not to return to her home because of his use of “certain substances”, urged the magistrate to “give him another chance” as his younger siblings had been missing him.
“I am going to accept the recommendation,” Frederick said. “But you can’t keep doing the same things over and over. This time I will give you an incentive to [clean up your act]. If you go and complete the programme . . . you won’t get a conviction recorded against your name, but if you don’t, you will go to prison . . . because you are playing the fool.”
He then placed Brathwaite on a bond for six months to attend the programme which begins on January 23.
If he doesn’t complete it, he will spend six months in prison “for wasting people’s time”.
“So now you have an incentive . . . because you had previous chances,” Frederick told him.
In another case, a 22-year-old man who squandered an opportunity for help was not so lucky and will have to spend six months in prison.
Leron Alexander Bennett of Quarry Road, Bank Hall, St Michael was charged with the January 30, 2016 offence of stealing a $330 tablet belonging to Roger Welch.
He had been sent to the Psychiatric Hospital for observation and returned to the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court where the magistrate referred him to Verdun House.
That was last September. The court heard today that Bennett had walked away from the rehabilitation programme.
Frederick then imposed the prison sentence.