Wednesday 19 February, 2020

Newspapers land man in prison

He first pleaded guilty to stealing 65 Sunday Sun Nation Newspapers but after giving his account of what happened that plea quickly changed.

Unkempt and almost falling as he walked to the dock, David Anthony Griffith, 49, of Roebuck Street, St Michael, pleaded guilty to the theft charge which occurred on February 11, 2018 at The Terminal Bookshop and Variety.

 "This is a whole ordeal," Griffith said even before the charge was read.

After he admitted to the charge Prosecutor Sergeant Theodore McClean relayed the facts of the case.

McClean said the proprietor of the bookshop at some point noticed that someone pushed their hands through the shutters and tried to steal the papers. She went to report the matter to security and when she came back the papers, worth $3 each, were gone this time.

Police, who were notified, saw Griffith in the area of St Michael's Row with four of the papers along with $28 in cash. He was interviewed and 31 of the papers were recovered.

When the prosecution asked for a restitution order, the magistrate replied, "For papers?"

"Sunday morning I got up from where I live and was coming across from out by the Parliament building and that's where I find myself in problems," Griffith told the court.

He said he saw some papers scattered across the ground and tried to "fix them back". 

Griffith said it was then that officers "pull up" and asked him where he got the newspapers from. He told the officers he found the papers and pointed out exactly where. He said the officers then matched his four with some others and said they were "connected".

"I ain' know what going on...that's foolishness! I never stole them," he told the District 'A' Magistrates' court yesterday.

Magistrate Douglas Frederick asked him why he pleaded guilty.

"I only know about the four papers [on the ground] not 65," he replied and decided to change his plea.

Though a "not guilty" plea was entered, the prosecutor still objected to bail.

McClean said the Crown was concerned about Griffith's living quarters as there was some uncertainty about his address. He went on to say that he feared Griffith would abscond or re-offend if granted bail.

"I never miss court, I'm innocent. I wa like lil bail on this matter," he pleaded.

However, he was remanded until March 12.

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