He first failed to convince the police of his reason for being at an unoccupied house when he was arrested over the weekend.
And Michael Fernando Bullen of Bank Hall Main Road, St Michael was again unsuccessful when he gave his explanation to Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant in the No. 2 District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court today.
The 43-year-old man was sentenced to 15 months at HMP Dodds after he first pleaded guilty to loitering at Bank Hall Cross Road, St Michael with cause to suspect he was about to commit theft, and then it was discovered he had an unpaid fine.
According to police prosecutor Station Sergeant Neville Reid, lawmen received a report from residents in the area about “unusual knocking” at an unoccupied house on March 18.
Lawmen went to the area and saw a house with its windows, doors and other fittings removed. They entered and found the accused in the house near a chisel and a hammer. He was asked to give an account for being there and his explanation was not enough to satisfy the police.
Station Sergeant Reid told Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant that Bullen is “well known” to the court system, with his last conviction recorded in September 2016 when a fine was imposed.
Bullen told the magistrate that he went to the house after a girl he knows told him that a man with just a “mask and boxer on” had “violated her house”.
He explained that he went in search of the man whom he was told sleeps at the unoccupied house.
Bullen said he entered the house and “quick so the police was there”.
“I told them why I was there. . . . I ain’t went to no house to steal nothing, Ma’am. The house is an abandoned house, there ain’t nothing to steal. . . . The tools were there [but] they were not mine.
“The young lady say a man with a mask and bare boxer [came in] but she did not make a report. So I went to the house and check because she does have me uneasy. I told the officer that I was sorry,” Bullen added, saying that he was currently working and “don’t have time for nothing so”.
However, Magistrate Cuffy-Sargeant was not convinced and pointed out to Bullen that he had numerous convictions, seven of them for trespassing.
“Why should I believe you now?” the magistrate asked the man, who responded that at the time he committed the previous offences he was using drugs.
“I came off the drugs, Ma’am. I have been working. I swear to God, Ma’am. . . . I was not ponging at nothing, Ma’am. That is not my style, Ma’am,” he added.
The magistrate then asked him whether he had paid the fine imposed on him last September.
“A marshal [name] Mr Jones say give it to Nikita to hold the money and that’s what I does do, Ma’am,” Bullen responded.
However, he again failed to sway the magistrate who told him that he had been in the system long enough to know where fines were to be paid.
She handed down the 12-month sentence for the loitering and a three-month consecutive sentence for the unpaid fine.