LAUGHTER erupted in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court last week when the court heard that a young man who was caught breaking into a jerk centre and bar told the police that "Nuh man nah go sit down and mek hungry kill dem."
Eighteen-year-old Garfield Dias of Mahoe Drive, Kingston 11, was reportedly caught coming out of the businessplace at Chelsea Avenue in Kingston, on the day in question about 4:45 am with $15,600 worth of expensive liquors and cigarettes in a bag. Another bag was reportedly seen on the outside.
Dias was charged with shop-breaking and larceny and on Friday when he appeared in court he pleaded guilty before Senior Magistrate Judith Pusey.
"Convince me why he should not go to prison for this," Pusey challenged Dias' lawyer, Marjorie Duncan.
Duncan, in reply, said: "This is not a behaviour that is habitual and this is an exceptional set of circumstances that he has found himself in."
She said that this was the first time that Dias had got in trouble with the law, that he is a student at the Heart Academy and currently resided with his father.
"What you have to say about his remark that man nah guh sit down and mek hungry kill him?" Pusey asked Duncan.
"Those are indicative of the difficult times that we live in and desperate time make people do desperate things," Duncan said.
"Really," Pusey commented.
Duncan continued, arguing that her client was really trying to make an honest life for himself.
But Pusey, who was not moved by the lawyer's argument, lamented the number of persons who were coming before the court for larceny and dishonest behaviour.
"You see if he was thieving bun and cheese and sardine I would understand," Pusey said. "If him did thief a pound of flour, a garlic, a piece of escallion and piece of chicken, then I could say that this man is hungry, but he wants to have a good time and he is not getting away with it."
Pusey then turned to Dias and told him that he had no reason to steal as he was living with his father and was not starving.
But Dias told her that he was in fact hungry and that was his reason for going into the jerk centre.
"Me did a eat a plate a food when the police come and me tell dem de truth and a dat mek dem nuh kill me," he said.
According to Dias, he was walking on Chelsea Avenue when he saw two youth coming out of the establishment and because him "faas" he went to look. That was when he saw the food, went for it and the police came and saw him.
"Dem never see me with no bag, me don't know bout nuh expensive liquor," he said.
"Then why you never tell that to you lawyer?"
"I don't even know I had a lawyer," Dias said to the surprise of the court.
Pusey then scolded the attorney for not conducting a dock brief with her client before calling up the matter.
Duncan, in her defence, told the court that the Legal Aid certificate that she got did not state the offence for which Dias was charged. But Pusey told her that if she had taken the time to speak with him she would have known the charge.
"If you do it again I am going to make sure that you don't get any more assignments," she promised the lawyer.
The magistrate also told Duncan that she was not going to sign the Legal Aid certificate which Duncan would need to get paid for her legal duty.
Pusey, who was so annoyed at the lawyer, backtracked on her promise to imprison Dias and instead ordered him to pay a fine of $20,000 or serve six months in prison.
Teacher accused of having sex with student
A Corporate Area high school teacher who reportedly had a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old female student was last week hauled before the court on charges of having sexual intercourse with a person under 16.
The teacher was recently arrested after the minor's parents saw what the court heard were certain sex texts from the teacher in the child's cellular phone.
It is also alleged that the teacher took the child to Palisadoes Road in Kingston where certain sexual acts were done to her in his car.
On Thursday when the accused appeared in court, his attorney, Shane Williams, tried to get bail for him but Senior Magistrate Judith Pusey insisted that she would not consider any bail for him until the complainant gives her testimony.
The matter was then scheduled for a preliminary enquiry and he was remanded into custody.
Man deposits fake cheques into girlfriend's bank account
A common-law couple found themselves in trouble with the law after the man was reportedly captured on camera depositing a fraudulent cheque for $680,000 into the woman's bank account.
Ottima Hamilton and Chevell Hall are both facing charges of obtaining money by false means and conspiracy to defraud.
The court heard that on September 24, a cheque purporting to be from Carreras Limited was lodged to Hall's National Commercial Bank account via ATM at Washington Boulevard in Kingston.
On October 16, Hall reportedly went to the NCB Duke Street branch in downtown Kingston to lodge $2,000 to her account when she was accosted by the police.
However, it is reported that Hall told the police that her spouse was responsible for lodging the money to her account and he was subsequently arrested.
According to the prosecution, the police have obtained photographs of Hamilton lodging the money to the account.
But Hamilton denied that he is the person in the photograph.
"It not my picture" he said.
Attorney John Clarke, who sought bail for Hamilton, told the court that there was a third party involved in the case.
Hamilton explained to the court that a friend of his called and asked him to allow him to deposit the money in his account for a few days and he would be compensated. He said the friend told him that he had just sold his car and had received the cheque.
However, Hamilton said the person wanted an NCB account holder and he told the person that he would ask his girlfriend. Shortly after, the person came back to him, asking for Hall's ATM card. When he asked why, he was told that he had lodged the money to her account.
But Magistrate Judith Pusey was not convinced of his innocence and refused him bail.
"I don't think he should get any bail, I think he is the author of the whole thing," she said.
Meanwhile, the magistrate told the prosecution that the case against Hall was very weak and extended her bail.
Both accused are to return to court on November 16.
Nine months for $6,000 con
A 68-year-old man who tricked two persons into believing that he was an officer of the law and collected their money to get gas and rum for them before disappearing, was slapped with a nine-month prison sentence.
One of the complainants told the court that Winston Williams told her that he was Constable Jones and could get gas for her at a service station. She gave him $1,000 but never saw him again.
The other complainant told the court that Williams came to her house, saw rum and told her that he could buy some more rum for her as he was a friend of her late father, an ex-cop, whose funeral she was preparing for.
The woman said Williams told her that he was an inspector and she gave
When asked to explain himself, Williams said: "I really did tell her that 'cause I was hungry and I was in a little difficulty."
But one of the complainants told the court that Williams is a known con man.
"This is a thing that he has been doing, he looks up in the classified ads for persons who have died and visit their relatives, telling them that he knows their relative and can get things done for them," she said.
"He came into my house, he could have killed me," the woman added.
Pusey then asked Williams how many times he had got in trouble with the law and he said two times.
"You almost 70, to go prison for four years now not nice, you nah go mek it," Pusey told him before sentencing him to nine months each on the two counts of obtaining money by false pretence. The sentences are to run concurrently.