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The defendant, Jolannie James outside Colonarie Magistrate's Court, in Georgetown on Thursday, June 1, 2023.
The defendant, Jolannie James outside Colonarie Magistrate’s Court, in Georgetown on Thursday, June 1, 2023.
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Magistrate Bertie Pompey has dismissed a matter against a South Rivers man who said that he lied in his caution statement to police officers because he was traumatised.

Jolannie James, 29, of South Rivers, represented himself at his trial at the Colonarie Magistrate’s Court, sitting in Georgetown, and provided enough evidence to convince the magistrate that he did not handle stolen goods, as alleged.

James’ brush with the law began about 1 p.m., on Dec. 4, 2022 at Calliaqua when he was driving motor vehicle RB135, a rented blue Suzuki Swift.

Investigating officer, Sergeant Glendon David, attached to the Calliaqua Police Station, told the court that he and a group of officers were on mobile patrol duty in the Calliaqua police district when he saw the occupants of RB135, “looking suspicious”.

He said he went and identified himself to the three occupants of the vehicle and requested a search of their person and the vehicle, to which they consented.

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David said a quantity of cannabis was found inside the vehicle and animal droppings in the trunk.

The animal droppings found in the vehicle led to the recovery of two goats at Diamonds, which were later identified and claimed by a resident of Colonarie.

David informed the court that in December 2022, the defendant was also convicted of theft.

The officer said, on Dec. 4, 2022,  he executed a search warrant at James’ home, where he found a black 40-inch, Hisense flat screen television in the sitting room.

David said he questioned and cautioned James, who replied, “Officer ah Wandon and Suck Up bring the TV give me to sell and to get a quick sale.”

The officer said he pointed out to the defendant the offences of handling stolen goods and unlawful possession.

He said that on Dec. 5, 2022, about 7:30 a.m.,  he interviewed and cautioned James in the presence of Justice of the Peace, Joel Woodley, of Belair.

David said the defendant also volunteered a statement later that day and he handed over the investigation to PC 642 Abraham of the Colonarie Police Station.

Abraham sometime later arrested and charged James for unlawful possession of one 40-inch Hisense television set reasonably suspected or believed to be stolen or unlawfully obtained.

At this point, the defendant relayed to the court that he was not feeling well. As a result, he was provided with a chair and bottled water.

In the statement that James gave to the police, as read by David to the court, James said that one “Wandon”, of Clare Valley, and “Suck Up”, of Rillan Hill, brought the TV for him to sell and he knew that both men had gone to prison before.

James said he knew the TV was a “thief thing” because of the time the men brought it to his home.

He said when the police took the TV from the house, his mother shouted to the officers that the TV came from Canada, but what his mother said “was not true”.

In his defence, James told the court he had evidence that the TV came from Canada.

He told the court that while he was at Calliaqua Police Station, David and a police corporal took him to the bathroom where David “hold on to my hair and when he released, he told the corporal to give him his gun”.

The defendant said, “I started to cry and took them to my house and let them take my adoptive mother’s TV.”

Prosecutor Corporal Delando Charles, in cross examining James, put it to him that he said in the caution statement that his mother lied when she said the TV came from Canada.

James responded, “That was a lie. I was traumatised.”

Quinda Jacobs, James’ mother, testified on his behalf, saying she was there when the policemen took the TV and she told them it came from her daughter in Canada in 2021.

Evidence was also presented in the form of a user’s manual booklet, which matched the model number on the TV. 

Also presented were a safety and warranty guide booklet, documents from the shipping agency and a “FLOW paper” for the cable box.

“I love the defendant, but if he has to go to jail, I have no problem with that,” Jacobs told the court.

Asked by the prosecutor why she didn’t produce the evidence before the day of the trial, Jacobs said she had.

In handing down his verdict, the magistrate said the only thing against James was the confession statement he made, which he later rescinded.

Pompey said the model number on the user manual matched that on the TV and as a result, the defendant had proven to the satisfaction of the court that the TV is his.

The magistrate dismissed the matter.

Pompey urged the defendant who has several matters pending before the court to stay out of trouble.

He also told James’ mother about the company he “is in association with” since he was released from prison.

The magistrate described one of the defendant’s companions as, “very notorious”.

Earlier in the day, the prosecution withdrew a criminal trespass charge against the defendant.