LANDSCAPER ACCUSED OF BREAKING INTO ALMOST 30 HOMES
A landscaper who allegedly burglarized 29 homes between December 2015 and last month has been remanded to HMP Dodds.
Shaquielle Alonza Payne of Charnocks, Christ Church is accused of breaking and entering 16 houses in the District ‘B’ area and another 13 in District ‘C’ over the more than one-year period.
The 23-year-old who appeared before Chief Magistrate Christopher Birch in the St Matthais Magistrates’ Court today, denied all District ‘C’ charges, but he was not required to plead to the District ‘B” matters as those will be dealt with by the magistrate in charge of that jurisdiction.
In the District ‘B’ area, Payne allegedly entered the homes of Judith-Ann Gilkes, Alex Whitehead, Jacqueline Devonish, Michael King, Vishal Kumar, Patrick Moore, Alston Romeo, Janice Samuel, Keith Brathwaite, Marriet Blackman, Vinla Denny, Jeffrey McClean, Dondre Trotman and Tamara Straker and stole a range of items including electronics, travel documents, clothes, jewelry, weedwackers and beverages worth over $67,000.
It is also alleged that Payne burglarized the homes of Guntram Hospes, Shawhay Lorde, Connie Wheatley, Wayne Blades, Michael Whitworth, Clovine Price, Carol Sands, Christian Seman, Obed Greenidge, John Small and Sean Buckley, and stole over $32,000 in items. The residences of Small and Buckley were broken into twice.
Police prosecutor Station Sergeant Azel Skeete objected to bail because of the nature and seriousness of the offences and because the accused was jointly charged with two other men.
He also argued that Payne’s “habitual nature” and “propensity” for such offences must be taken into account.
“Persons have the right to secure, leave and come back to find their hard earned property,” Skeete submitted, adding that the accused “must be protected from society and society from him”.
The prosecutor went on to say that the Crown feared that if Payne was granted bail, he would “continue along this path”.
However, defence attorney Kamisha Benjamin told the chief magistrate that Payne was not known to any of the courts in the island and had no previous convictions, and the prosecutor’s argument about his propensity for such offences therefore had no weight.
“He pleaded not guilty and is innocent until tried and tested in this court to prove otherwise,” she argued, even as she pointed out that the Crown’s representative had made no mention of being fearful that her client would either abscond if granted bail or interfere with witnesses.
“While these are serious accusations, my client maintains his innocence,” Benjamin added.
After weighing the arguments from both sides, Magistrate Birch remanded Payne into custody.
He will appear in the District ‘B’ court on March 1 and District ‘C’ on March 20.