So excited was Arleigh Patrick Todd about being released from prison, he told Magistrate Douglas Frederick he was interested in starting an ex-con association to assist persons when they left HMP Dodds.
And while that suggestion brought laughter to the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court, the happiest man in the courtroom was Todd after the magistrate released him on a bond.
When he last appeared in court on December 12, the 64-year-old of Upper Collymore Rock, St Michael, pleaded guilty to stealing a chair and tables valued $290 on or between December 5 and 6, belonging to Shawn Knight.
On that occasion, Frederick remanded the reputed thief who has over 60 convictions to HMP Dodds, saying that he wanted him off the streets for the Yuletide Season.
“I spent two years clean and at this age I don’t want to go back to jail. I am asking for a bond with any conditions . . . even if it is a ten-year bond,” Todd told the magistrate.
The magistrate placed him on a bond to keep the peace for one year with an alternative of nine months in prison.
After Frederick handed down his ruling an overjoyed Todd then brought up the suggestion.
“Sir, I want to put something to you and you could tell me if it is a good idea or not. I would like to form an ex-con association . . . where I would get some tools like weedwackers and go around asking for work so when people come out of prison I would be able to help them.
“You would help me?” he asked the court.
The magistrate told him while it was a good idea it was not an area he could get involved in.
It was then pointed out to Todd that such an association had already been formed.
This did not break the convicted man’s spirit though, as he flashed a huge smile on his way out of the courtroom while emphatically stating, “I’m not coming back!”.