Three hours after the weekend lockdown went into effect at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 19 Erskine Leo Belgrave was seen walking along Montrose, Christ Church.
Police were on patrol along the road around 10:20 when they stopped the 47-year-old resident of No 17J Silver hill, Christ Church with a haversack on his back.
“I now coming from work,” he told lawmen when asked to account for his presence on the road at that time. He was asked whether he had an emergency pass he replied “no” and was detained and taken to a police station where a search was conducted.
According to Station Sergeant St Clair Philips in Belgrave’s haversack was a quantity of freshly dug cassava and a sword. He told them that he had gotten them at a lady’s property and he used the sword to dig for the produce.
However, when taken to the place the woman told police that she had not granted Belgrave any such permission and reported that he was in a habit of stealing from the property.
He was subsequently charged with stealing the cassava which was valued $20 belonging to Wilbert Forde.
He also pleaded guilty to breaching Paragraph (3) subparagraph (1) of the Emergency Management (COVID-19) (CURFEW) (No.4) Directive when he left home between the hours of 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. not being a member or employee of an essential service or a person with an emergency.
He also admitted to breaching Paragraph (14) clause (a) of the directive by failing to wear a mask while at Montrose Road.
Addressing Magistrate Elwood Watts in the District ‘C’ Magistrates’ Court this afternoon Belgrave declared, “I got a drug problem and I need some help for it. I want to know if I can go down Black Rock, to start the drug porgramme and spend six weeks down there and then they will take you to Verdun House,” he said.
Belgrave further told the court that he had gotten an opportunity to enroll in Verdun House back in 2018/2019 but did not finish the programme.
“I would like another chance. I tired of jail, that is the honest truth. I tired of jail sir, tired of jail, jail, jail every time,” Belgrave responded.
The magistrate however informed him that he could not go to the Psychiatric Hospital at this time given the health crisis.
“Sir give me a chance sir,” Belgrave pleaded just before he was sentenced.
He was fined $100 forthwith for stealing the cassava with an alternative of 30 days in prison. For breaching the curfew he was fined $2 500 forthwith or three months in prison and for not wearing a mask he fined $250 forthwith or he must spend seven days at Dodds. All the sentences will run consecutively.