A Canouan man who police met inside a village shop he burglarised has been jailed for one year and three months.
The man, Calvin Henry, 50, was also sentenced to three months in prison for damaging a window on the shop, but this sentence will run concurrent to the one for burglary.
On Monday, Henry appeared before the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court and pleaded guilty to a charge that on Sept. 16, at Grand Bay, Canouan, he entered the liquor and provision shop of Gracelyn Brackin, of Canouan, as a trespasser and stole a quantity of items valued at EC$638.50, Brackin’s property.
He also pleaded guilty to a charge that without lawful excuse, he damaged one wooden window valued at EC$200, and one hinge, valued at EC$45, total value EC$245, by breaking the same with an unknown object, Brackin’s property.
The court heard that on Sept. 16 about 1 a.m. Police Constables 553 Mitchell 441 Patterson and 72 Barber were on patrol about Canouan in vehicle G885.
While on patrol, the officers received information that a shop was being burglarised.
The officers responded and observed a light moving inside the shop.
They called the VC by name, “Blackie” but there was no answer.
Barbour made checks about the shop and observed that a wooden window facing the Canouan market was open.
The officers found this suspicious and Barbour left Mitchell and Patterson to secure the shop and went looking for the VC, who he met at home.
The VC and Barbour went back to the shop and opened the front door and found Henry behind the deep freeze.
The police took him into custody and exited the shop and observed what appeared to be blood on Henry’s forehead and hands.
He was taken for medical attention and then back to the police station.
PC 59 Adams, the investigator, went back to the scene and the VC pointed out a book bag containing the stolen items, including a cheque.
Henry was cautioned and interviewed. He responded “Oh God, I made a mistake” but did not give a written statement.
In mitigation, Henry told the court that it has been five years since he was released from prison and that he had been trying his best to keep out.
He said he was working and trying to help himself but had made a mistake and asked the court to have “a little sympathy” on him.
The magistrate established a starting point of 20% of the maximum even year sentence, which translates to one year and four months.
Ballah said aggravating of the offence was that it was committed in the wee hours of morning.
For this, he added three months to the sentence.
As regards the offender, the magistrate said Henry had 21 previous convictions, seven of which are for burglary.
The magistrate considered this to be an aggravating feature of the offender and added a further three months to the sentence, taking it to one year and 10 months.
The court granted Henry a full one-third reduction of the sentence for his early guilty.
The court also issued a restitution order for the stolen items.