Two men were on Wednesday sentenced to 14 years and six months in prison for five burglaries committed in Kingstown.
However, the men, Steven Boucher, 26, and Kamal “Condom” Small, 32, of Calliaqua and Penniston, will only serve four years and six months, as the sentences will run concurrently.
Small’s sentence is in addition to the four-year sentence imposed on him in February for stealing items valued at $68,150 from a store in Kingstown on Dec. 26, 2022.
The sentences that were handed down on Wednesday were in connection with five counts of theft, which included stealing from the St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church Office and a priest who lives there, in November and December last year.
Boucher and Small appeared before magistrate John Ballah at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to charges that:
– on Dec. 9-12, 2022, they entered the St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church Office as trespassers and stole one Dell laptop, valued at US$250; one Russell Hobbs Kettle, valued EC$200, the property of Dennika Peters, of Dorsetshire Hill, and one Dell laptop, valued US$200, and US$8,157.66, CAD$120, 50 pounds and 60 euros in cash, the property of the St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church;
– between Dec. 8 and 11, 2022, at North River Road, Kingstown, they entered the apartment of Alando Williams as trespassers and stole one grey Apple iPod, valued EC$695; one white and grey electric iron, valued EC$85; one Radio Shack Bluetooth speaker, valued at EC$59; one iPhone charger, valued at US$12.99 and five boxes of Orchard juice, valued E$39.75, total value EC$878.75 and US$12.99, Williams’ property;
– between Dec. 9 and 12, at North River Road, Kingstown, they entered the apartment of Alando Williams, of North River Road, as trespassers and stole one 40-inch Element television, valued US$500; one Amazon Firestick, valued at US$54.99; one Oster Toaster, valued at US$119 and one Oster blender, valued US$50, total value US$723.99, Williams’ property;
– between Dec. 10 and 11, 2022, they stole one brown and white ewe goat, valued at EC$400, the property of Kyle Alfonso, of Rose Place; and,
– between Nov. 28 and 29, 2022, at Kingstown, they stole a quantity of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, valued at EC$500, the property of Alison Charles, of Evesham.
According to the facts read by the prosecutor, acting Corporal of Police Corlene Samuel, Dennica Peters is the parish manager at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church on North River Road, Kingstown.
The church’s office is located on the ground floor of the building and secured by two wooden doors with locks.
On Dec. 10, 2022, around midday, Peters secured her office and went home. About 6:45 a.m. the next day, she received a report of a break-in at the building.
On arrival at the office, Peters noticed that the office was ransacked and the items complained of were missing.
The matter was reported to the police and PC 987 Peters investigated.
On Jan. 3, Small was informed of the report, cautioned, interviewed and he gave a statement denying the allegation.
On Jan. 12, Boucher was also informed of the report, cautioned, interviewed and he too gave a statement denying the allegation.
However, when the charge was read on Wednesday both defendants pleaded guilty.
The prosecutor informed the court that none of the missing items were recovered.
Ballah began with a notional sentence of four years in prison and added six months for the aggravating features of the offence.
He noted that one of the defendants had 10 previous convictions while the other had two.
An additional six months was added to the sentencing bringing it to five years.
After one-third of the sentence was discounted for the early guilty plea, the magistrate arrived at a sentence of four years and six months for each of the defendants.
The men were further slapped with sentences of four years and six months for each of the two burglaries against Williams.
Samuel told the court that Williams is the priest at the St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church.
On Dec. 9, Williams, who occupies the second floor of the church building, secured his dwelling.
On Dec. 12, at about 12:25 a.m., when he returned and opened the door on the ground floor of the building, he heard a noise but went to his room.
While in his room, he discovered the items in the complaint were missing and reported the matter to the police.
The court further heard that on Dec. 10, Williams secured his apartment at about 10:25 p.m., and went to sleep.
About 6 a.m., the following day, he received a call telling him that the building was broken into.
He observed that the glass leading from the ground floor to his apartment was broken.
Further checks revealed that the television, Amazon Fire stick, Oster Toaster and Blender were missing.
Small and Boucher were informed of the two reports against them by the investigator PC 987 Peters.
The defendants were cautioned, interviewed and gave statements denying the allegations.
The prosecutor informed the court that none of the items missing were recovered.
In handing down his sentence, Ballah said there was some degree of planning and started with a sentence of 60% of the maximum of seven years — amounting to four years.
After considering the mitigating and aggravating factors, he arrived at a sentence of four years and six months for each of the defendants.
The court further heard that on Dec. 10, 2022, about 9 p.m., Alfonso went to the Kingstown cemetery to take his animals’ home. He tied the ewe goat at the back of his house and also secured the kids.
At about 3 a.m. the next day, Alfonso heard the goat making a sound twice before it stopped.
Upon investigation, Alfonso observed that the ewe was missing from where he had tied it but the kids were where he had secured them.
Thinking that the goat had come loose, he returned to the cemetery to look for it but was unsuccessful in his search.
He however received information and reported the matter to the police.
As part of their investigation, police reviewed CCTV footage, which showed the defendants with the goat walking to Stoney Ground.
The magistrate imposed a sentence of five months on each defendant.
The court also heard that on Nov. 28, 2022, at 7:30 a.m., at Little Tokyo, Charles secured his trolley and fridge with “strong man” rope and a grey tarpaulin and left them intact.
When he returned at about 9:30 a.m. the next day, Charles discovered that the ropes were cut and the fridge door was opened. He also discovered that a quantity of the drinks was missing.
He carried out investigations and made a report to the police.
PC 217 John carried out further investigations which led to the arrest of both defendants.
On Jan. 3, Small was cautioned by the officer and he gave a statement admitting to the offence.
On Jan. 12, Boucher was cautioned. He also gave a statement to police admitting to the offence.
The court imposed a one-year sentence for that crime.