Ham thief admits to drug habit

COURT TODAY BLOCK“Put food dey; put a woman dey; I gine choose cocaine!”

Those were the sentiments of Mackelton DaCosta Wood, a homeless 56-year-old cocaine addict who stole three picnic hams valued $208.73 from BJ’s Value Mart, on Wednesday.

Wood, who has many previous convictions, was mitigating before Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court after admitting to the theft.

The prosecutor, Sergeant Janice Ifill, said that on the date, a supervisor notified the security guard that Wood had taken two hams, which he placed in a plastic bag and was about to leave the store with.

Both the guard and the supervisor went towards Wood, who tried to run. During a brief struggle with the guard, the hams fell from Wood.

They still carried the supermarket logo and price, but when he was questioned Wood claimed they were from another supermarket. However, he could not produce a receipt.

In Wood’s address to the court, he stressed that he has been using cocaine since 1987. “I ain’t just coming court to plead guilty without stating part of my problem,” he told the Magistrate.

Wood added that he underwent rehabilitative treatment only once for his drug habit.

When Magistrate Cuffy-Sargeant questioned him about the programme at the prison, he replied: “I don’t call it a programme. Sometimes it is only a hour and I learn nothing from it.”

Wood further explained that the “prison environment is not the type of persons I want to be around” since “you could get marijuana up dey; you could get what you want up there.”

Wood was eventually sentenced to 12 months in jail and ordered to enrol in the drug rehabilitation programme at HMP Dodds.

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