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Edwin Baptiste aka Piggy leaves Georgetown Magistrate's Court on Monday, May 6, 2024.
Edwin Baptiste aka Piggy leaves Georgetown Magistrate’s Court on Monday, May 6, 2024.

The Orange Hill man who was charged with stealing a truck battery from BRAGSA — his place of employment at the time — has been bonded.

The man, Edwin Baptiste aka Piggy, 37, spent two weeks undergoing a psychiatric evaluation at the Mental Health and Rehabilitation Center before the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court disposed of his case on Monday.

The healthcare facility found that Baptiste was fit to plea and Magistrate Kaywana Jacobs accepted his guilty plea.

The facts, presented by prosecutor Corporal of Police Delando Charles, are that on April 11, about 8 a.m., Yoni Jardine, a supervisor at BRAGSA, was alerted to a missing Power King m31-DC105 amp marine battery, valued at EC$790, from one of the company’s trucks.

The security guard informed the supervisor that the defendant had returned to the compound and removed the battery.

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Baptiste was cautioned twice by Police Constable 726 Defreitas and later by PC726 Defreitas in the presence of Corporal 339 Laborde.

He volunteered a statement admitting to the offence and took the police officers where he had hidden the battery in bushes near the BRAGSA compound.

Jardine later identified the battery at the Georgetown Police Station.

At his arraignment, the father of two children, aged 13 and 6, told the court that his girlfriend of 16 years had left him and he has had nervous breakdowns “now and again”.

The prosecutor, however, said that the defendant had never been a patient at MHRC.

Before Jacobs handed down the sentence, Baptiste said, “It is my first offence. I don’t get into trouble.”

He told the court, “Charge me a fine.  I’ll pay; I’ll pay the fine.”

The magistrate said the offence carries a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment. 

She established a starting point of 10% of the maximum sentence.

Aggravating of the offence was that Baptiste had attempted to conceal the stolen item. For this, the magistrate added three months.

Mitigating of the offence was that the battery was recovered. 

Aggravating of the offender, the defendant stole from his employer, and the magistrate added another two months to the sentence.

Mitigating of the offender was that Baptiste had no previous conviction and assisted the investigators. 

The magistrate further said there was “some level of mental health”.

Based on the mitigating features of the offender, the magistrate deducted two months from the sentence. 

In light of Baptiste’s early guilty plea, the magistrate deducted one-third, or 40 days, from the sentence.

The magistrate, however, decided to bond Baptiste for six months in the sum of EC$500 or two months imprisonment.

She also ordered restitution of the battery.