In the dead of the night and in clear breach of the island’s 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, two men were caught in the act of stealing wood belonging to the National Conservation Commission (NCC).
“With COVID going on we can’t have [you] moving in the dead of the night stealing things,” Chief Magistrate Ian Weekes told 48-year-old Clement Reginald Greaves of Gall Hill, Christ Church and Leslie Sehon Phillips, 55, of Welches No. 2, Christ Church.
Weekes made reference to comments made by top police officials about persistent crime even in “COVID times” stating that it had to be constantly addressed.
The two were each charged with breaching the curfew as outlined in Paragraph  sub paragraph  of the Emergency Management [COVID-19] [curfew] Directive 2021, while not being employees of an essential service or having personal emergencies.
The general workers were then jointly charged with stealing the two pieces of wood valued at $437.50 belonging to the NCC on February 16, 2021.
A report to the Oistins Police Station indicated that two persons were seen in the area of Oistins Bay Garden around 11 p.m. When police checked the area no one was seen. However, sometime later, a man was seen laying on his stomach in a dark area in Bennett Road, Christ Church near Chefette restaurant. That man was identified as Greaves who told police “I drink a rum earlier and I was drunk so I just lay down there to sleep,”
Footage from CCTV showed the two men carrying two lengths of wood in their hands. Phillips was later brought into custody and both he and Greaves were interviewed separately. They were shown the footage and admitted to stealing the wood.
Phillips told officers that he went to help his “friend move something” and both were charged and brought before the court.
Greaves was said to have an outstanding warrant at Oistins. A restitution order was ordered and granted for the return of the wood.
In explaining his actions, Greaves told the court that he was suffering from an “illness” and had no fixed place of abode. He also admitted stealing the wood for money. Asked why he wasn’t in a shelter, he said he had asked about it but was awaiting an answer.
Phillips simply reiterated what he said to police that he was helping out a friend with wood.
“You can’t go and take up people’s things,” Weekes told the men who are known to the courts.
The magistrate said he thought Greaves would be “better” in a place where he is fed daily, to which Greaves replied: “The decision is yours.”
They were sentenced to three months in prison.
Sergeant Victoria Taitt represented the prosecution in the No. 1 District “A” Magistrates’ Court.