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Five minutes after leaving his home on April 20, Daphne resident Edmund Questelles realised that he had forgotten his sunglasses.

When he stepped into his bedroom, he met Akeem Massiah/Cumberbatch, 32, counting out EC$400 that had been in a purse in the bedroom.

It was the second house that Massiah/Cumberbatch burglarised that day. 

Earlier, he had burglarised Alistair Adams’ home at Belair, stealing items valued at EC$850, including a black transformer, a gold-plated chain and a cleaver.

Massiah/Cumberbatch pleaded guilty to both charges at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Monday, and Senior Magistrate Tammika Mc Kenzie-Da Silva remanded him in custody until his sentencing last Friday.

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Prosecutor acting Corporal of Police Corlene Samuel told the court Adams secured his one-story plywood house and left about 5:30 a.m. on April 20.

He returned about 6 p.m. and found that his front door was unlocked and his 500W transformer, a gold-plated chain with a cross pendant, and a black-handle cleaver were missing. 

A neighbour told Adams that Massiah/Cumberbatch was arrested earlier that day in another neighbour’s house. 

Adams reported the matter to the police.

When Adams made the report, detective Police Constable 446 Nicos Hope was investigating a burglary and had found some items that Massiah/Cumberbatch was carrying. 

Those were the same times that Adams had reported as missing.

Hope cautioned Massiah/Cumberbatch in the presence of Justice of the Peace Woodley in respect of the burglary at Adams’ property. 

The defendant handed over the chain to the police in the presence of the Justice of the Peace.

In a caution statement, Massiah/Cumberbatch said that he went to Adams’ house and no one was at home. 

He said the door was unlocked and he went inside and took the transformer because had some work to do and wanted the transformer to operate his heat gun.

Massiah/Cumberbatch also admitted to taking the chain, adding that no one saw him go into the house.

“I am sorry about what happened,” he said.

Meanwhile, resenting the facts in the Questelles case, Hope told the court that the house is a two-storey concrete structure.

Questelles’ girlfriend, Cassandra Solomon operates a shop on the lower floor and stores the money in two purses in their bedroom.

On the date in question, she went to work at the shop about 8:45 a.m.

At about 9:05 a.m., Questelles left home for work, securing the house by locking the doors and windows but leaving his bedroom window open for ventilation. 

About five minutes after he left, he realised he had forgotten his sunglasses at home. He went back to the house, retrieved the sunglasses from the living room and proceeded into the bedroom. 

He opened his bedroom door and met the defendant standing in his bedroom. 

Questelles saw a money purse on the bed and Massiah/Cumberbatch counting the money. 

Questelles held on to Massiah/Cumberbatch and asked, ‘What are you doing in the bedroom?” 

The defendant did not reply.

Questelles made a report to the Calliaqua Police Station and Hope visited the scene and the defendant was handed over to him, along with a shopping bag containing some items.

The items were later found to be those stolen from Adams’ house. 

The defendant was taken back to the Calliaqua Police Station where he told the officer that. he had entered the house via a window “to make a hustle”. 

He, however, chose not to give a written statement. 

Massiah/Cumberbatch accepted the fact in both matters.

In mitigation, he told the court he is a mechanic and a bodywork man and has known Adams for about five years.

Massiah/Cumberbatch said he did some work for Adams about two years ago which Adams has since sold but has not paid him.

He said he has a part for Adams that he fixed more than a year ago but the virtual complainant has not come to collect it.

“It is hard for me every day seeing him passing up and down in my condition. I have to buy medication every month for $72 for the rest of my life,” Massiah/Cumberbatch told the court, adding that he usually has seizures and has to buy that every month. 

He said he wanted to get some work done, and could not do so without a transformer.

“I passed by him. He was not home. The house was open and that is how I took the transformer. I made a mistake and I am so sorry,” the defendant told the court.

“What about the chain and the cleave?” the magistrate said.

“I just took them up,” responded Massiah/Cumberbatch, who had two previous convictions for grievous bodily harm, damage to property and two for burglary.

The magistrate noted that last year, the court had ordered Massiah/Cumberbatch to compensate the owner of a television EC$690 after he stole the appliance. 

Massiah/Cumberbatch said he “did not really do that” but took the blame for someone who had to go away. 

He said that was years. However, the magistrate pointed out that both burglaries were last July while the others were years ago

She activated the bond that was imposed on him last July, which required Massiah/Cumberbatch to pay $1,000 forthwith or serve the prison sentence.

The magistrate further remanded him in custody until Friday, saying she wanted to carefully consider his sentence. 

At Friday’s sentencing, the magistrate noted Massiah/Cumberbatch’s previous convictions.

“It seems like you are not learning from your behaviour; you are not changing your ways,” Mc Kenzie-Da Silva told the defendant. 

She noted that she had allowed him to apologise to both victims but he chose not to do so.

The magistrate noted that burglary carries a maximum of 14 years in prison but a magistrate can only impose seven. 

After considering the sentencing guidelines, including the totality principle, and the mitigating and aggravating features of the offence and the offenders, the magistrate sentenced Massiah/Cumberbatch to a further three years, four months and 26 days in prison. 

5 replies on “Man meets burglar in bedroom 5 minutes after leaving home ”

  1. Thats a harsh punishment to impose for some trivial stolen property/cash, but people have to learn to stop breaking into people’s homes and stealing their property. Residents have a right to feel safe and protected in their own homes. But I guess if you do the crime, you have to be prepared to do the time.

  2. You think that is harsh but I personally believe that vigilante justice is the solution to these blasted foolishness.

  3. Ann who ever your are if you were the victim you would have song a different song. When you are not the victim it is all right to trivialize the crime by saying that the penalty was harsh. Let me remind you in the case of Regina v Sussex , the law must not only be done but must be seen to be done. The penalty must also fit thr crime. All consistent with Regina v Sussex.

  4. So you catch him slipping and you held him there till the police arrive.Your head is not well or as we say here in Vincy “Yo head nah gud.”It should of been my house.

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