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Joseph ''Bull' John of Sandy Bay leaves the Georgetown Magistrate's Court on June 5, 2023
Joseph ”Bull’ John of Sandy Bay leaves the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court on June 5, 2023

A 44-year-old farmer has received a suspended prison sentence for picking a 77-year-old farmer’s pigeon peas.

At his arraignment, the defendant, Joseph “Bull” John, of London, Sandy Bay, pleaded not guilty to the offences of theft and criminal trespass.

He maintained the not guilty plea ahead of his trial before Magistrate Bertie Pompey at Georgetown Magistrate’s Court last.

The virtual complainant, Felix Baptiste Toppin, 77, also of London, Sandy Bay, testified that he and John farm next to each other at Tourama.

Toppin said that on Dec.18, 2022, about 11 a.m., he went to his land and met someone wearing a red jersey and green and cream soccer pants.

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He said the person he met was in his field and had a “tall”, “big” bucket picking his pigeon peas.

Toppin said he didn’t know how much peas the person had, as he didn’t go close to him. He told the court he is an old man and didn’t know if the person had a cutlass.

He said he called out to the person saying, “Ah who you in my peas tree picking my peas?”

He said the defendant responded, “Ah me, Toppo. I want a pot”

The virtual complainant said he responded to the John saying that they are not friends.  He said he also ordered John off the land and informed him that he was going to report the matter to the police.

On March 20, at 10 a.m., investigating officer, PC 1103 Nanton arrested and charged the defendant.

The defendant told the court, he spent December in the Barrouallie mountain — about 37.30 miles from Sandy Bay, with another male. 

He however couldn’t remember which year that was. He said he returned to Sandy Bay on Jan. 1, this year.

During cross examination, the prosecutor Corporal Delando Charles put it to the defendant that he went onto Toppin’s land

John, however, responded that he “wasn’t up here”.

The prosecutor further put it to the defendant that Toppin didn’t give him access to his lands.

The defendant responded, “No.”

“I am not going to waste further time with you eh. Moon does run till day catch up,” Charles said. 

When the magistrate asked the defendant why his friend did not come to court as a witness, John said his friend was overseas.

Pompey found the defendant guilty.

The magistrate noted that John had similar convictions for theft and burglary.

He sentenced him to four months in prison suspended for eight months.

The magistrate explained that if John commits any offence within the next eight months, he would go to prison for four months, in addition to any sentence the court hands down on that offence. 

One reply on “‘Bull’ guilty of stealing farmer’s pigeon peas ”

  1. Foster Forde says:

    For picking peas? What was the value of the peas? Fine the man $50 plus court costs and let him get back to farming.

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