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Holy crime

Man admits to breaking and entering parish church

courtAn accused man today pleaded guilty to burglarizing a church.

Rodrick Willrow Beckles, who is currently on remand at HMP Dodds, admitted before Justice Michelle Weekes in the No 2 Supreme Court, to entering the St Peter Parish Church sometime between March 27 and 28 2015 and stealing one tabernacle worth $15,000 and a communion cup valued at $1,100.

Crown Counsel Oliver Thomas, who is prosecuting the case outline the facts in the matter.

He revealed that on March 28 last year Adrian Baker of Sunset Heights, St Peter, who is a proprietor of the Church Street Café, was closing his establishment when he heard a loud crash.

He went to investigate the cause of the noise and saw an object in the road. He then saw the accused man emerging from the church yard.

It is alleged that the accused man threw a cloth over the object, lifted it over his shoulder and walked towards the stoplights.

The following day, the church’s sexton Peter Bowen entered the place of worship around 7:15 a.m. and was greeted by debris near the altar. He also spotted a foot print on the kneeler by the altar and observed that the tabernacle was missing from the wall.

The matter was reported to the police who conducted investigations, which led to Beckles’ arrest.

Officers allegedly told the accused man that it was their suspicion that he was the one who broke into the church and stole the mentioned items, to which Beckles said: “I ain’t thief. I went in the church to smoke.”

Today, a presentencing report was ordered on Beckles, who has 24 previous convictions dating back from 1984, including burglary of several churches, loitering, theft, possession of apparatus, malicious damage and breaking and entering.

Justice Weekes also ordered a report from HMP Dodds on the time Beckles spent of remand.

He returns to court on November 22.

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