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Kendal Baptiste

The accused man, Kendal Baptiste, after his arraignment in December. (iWN photo)

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A theft charge against a man who spent the holidays in jail after he was accused of stealing four floor mats from a Kingstown retail business was dismissed on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018.

Magistrate Bertie Pompey rejected the prosecution’s application for an adjournment, saying that the absence of the virtual complainant suggested that he had no interest in the case.

The magistrate noted that the virtual complainant had failed to turn up in court although he had been summoned.

He further noted that the accused man had spent some time in custody.

Pompey further ordered that the four mats in question be confiscated, noting that the purpose of a trial is also to determine ownership of the items.

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The accused man, Kendal Baptiste of Long Wall, was denied bail at his arraignment on Dec. 18, 2017 when he first appeared before Pompey at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court.

He was charged that on Dec. 16, at Kingstown, he stole four Kennedy Mats, valued EC$40, the property of Lionel Sassine of Cane Garden, owner of Najat Fashion Store, Kingstown.

The defendant had pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The magistrate had asked the prosecutor if the facts of the matter suggested that the alleged crime was related to the increased commerce during the Christmas season.

On hearing that that had been the case, he had immediately denied the accused man bail.

“I does work, your honour,” the man had said in a fruitless protest as he was ordered to stand down.