Clarke: ‘I want to be off the streets’

COURT TODAY BLOCKWhen Magistrate Douglas Frederick inquired from a 28-year-old accused today how come he has no fixed place of abode, he was given three reasons.

It was because Justin David Clarke lost both parents as a child, had to be raised in a children’s home and was now addicted to drugs. Clarke was in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court on two theft charges. He pleaded guilty.

According to the facts presented by police prosecutor, Sergeant Martin Rock, Clarke entered the Vashti Inniss Empowerment Centre between August 21 and 23 and stole several items including mackerel, sugar, rice, peas and milk worth a total of $27.88.

He also went to Callies Pharmacy between August 23 and 24 and did the same thing. He took 10 bottles of tonic, three bottles of Ferrol, 3 tins of shaving powder, two bottles of shaving cream and a bottle of lotion from Callies Pharmacy. The total value was $329. 85.

The theft at the Empowerment Centre was discovered by the nutritionist who, on returning to work, noticed that the pantry had been broken into. In the case of Callies Pharmacy, camera footage revealed that Clarke had broken the showcase and a rock had been left inside.

During questioning, Clarke admitted that he used crack-cocaine, alcohol and joy juice.

“The reason I do that is because the drugs did unfairing me,” he explained. “I want to get myself into rehab . . . I want to be off the streets.”

However, Magistrate Frederick reminded the accused that he already had a psychiatric evaluation which showed that he was aggravating his mental problem by using drugs.

“We went through this same thing last time,” Frederick told Clarke. “We know your history already. You were before me late last year.”

On that occasion, Clarke was sentenced to three months for stealing from the same Centre. This time, he was given six months.

“That will take care of two problems. It will get you off the streets and also get you some rehabilitation,” the magistrate told Clarke.

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