Christ Church resident Euston O’Neal Harmon received no pardon yesterday as he was sentenced to eight years in prison for breaching the sanctity of one of the island’s churches.
The man who is in his early 40s who recently told the No. 5 Supreme Court he was a drug addict, pleaded guilty to breaking into the Church of the Living God at St Patrick’s, Christ Church, a divine place of worship on May 14, 2014 and stealing a weed wacker, a gas bottle and a regulator worth $1,197.90 belonging to Julianne Roberts.
Madam Justice Pamela Beckles imposed the sentence on Harmon who lives at Sion Hill, Christ Church and also imposed a two-year sentence for escaping police custody that same year. The sentences will run concurrently.
But having spent 977 days on remand and crediting him with a one third discount for his guilty plea, Harmon only has 970 days or two years and 240 days remaining to serve at Dodds on the charge of sacrilege while the sentence for escaping has already been served.
The facts previously outlined by Crown Counsel Oliver Thomas revealed that church officials discovered the items missing after they realised that the door to the basement had been broken. The wacker, which was returned to its owner, was found at a pawnshop. When he was taken to the District ‘B’ Police Station so that he could attend court he escaped without the use of force.
The aggravating factors, the High Court judge told Harmon in handing down the sentence, was that the offence was “clearly opportunistic” in that he had access to the church’s grounds as according to him, he carried out odd jobs for the pastor.
“You abused that confidence imposed in you . . . and the reckless disregard that
you had for the sanctity of the church a divine place of worship,” said the judge who also pointed out that Harmon committed the offence while he was already on bail and that his previous records showed that he had a propensity to commit such offences.
She said the mitigating factors in his favour were that he pleaded guilty to the offences and that the weed wacker had been recovered.
It was previously revealed that Harmon, who is known to the court was currently serving four-year sentence for serious indecency, which expires in March 2021.