Whitehall saved from six-month sentence

The responsibility of taking care of his bedridden mother has saved a St Michael man from serving a six-month prison sentence at HMP Dodds.

David Bretram Whitehall of Hawkins Gap, Westbury Road, St Michael pleaded guilty in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court today to receiving stolen goods, namely a television belonging to Prestige Accounting Inc., knowing or believing that the item was stolen.

Prosecutor Sergeant Martin Rock told Magistrate Douglas Frederick that police were investigating a string of burglaries in the Strathclyde area. The probe led to Whitehall and it was discovered that he had bought the television from Anderson Demar Hunte for $50.

However, Whitehall who has a previous conviction for receiving stolen property, said he had only pawned the television for Hunte.

“He owed me $110 . . . and I tell him I going to pawn it and when he get the money I gine give it back. I like him and I help him out cause I have a cousin just like him. He didn’t sell it to me and he didn’t hide or nothing so when he brought it to me,” Whitehall explained.

It was then that the magistrate pointed out to the man that he was eligible for a six month prison term for his actions as it was not the first time he was caught with stolen property.

However Whitehall told the magistrate that he was taking care of his mother who is “crippled” and a four-year-old child.

That comment made the magistrate reconsider his sentence as he considered the “social fallout and hardship on a lady” that is dependent on Whitehall.

“You are not much help and are eligible for jail,” the magistrate warned as he ordered the accused man to pay the court a $750 fine in one week or spend a week in prison.

Whitehall was also cautioned to keep the peace and be on his best behaviour for the next 12 months. If he breaches that order and pleads guilty to any crime during that year he will spend an automatic three months in jail.

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