(CMC) – Chief Magistrate of Dominica, Candia Carette-George, has sentenced a man to one year in jail for stealing, but not before telling him that “it is one thing to steal, but to steal from the church and the people of God is grave.”
The magistrate imposed the jail term on Jeffery Charles nearly one year after he was stopped by police on a street in the capital with a bag.
The court heard that on November 25, 2021, the defendant who is known to the police, fled the scene after he was stopped by the police leaving behind the bag that contained four bottles of Candela Mess wine valued at EC$136.68 each.
Police said they later received a report from the Diocese of Roseau that the church had been broken into and eight bottles of wine with a total value of EC$3,690.36 was missing.
Charles was subsequently arrested and charged with theft and receiving stolen goods after telling the police that the wine had been given to him by someone. He was remanded into custody and almost a year later changed his plea to “guilty for receiving stolen goods”.
The authorities then withdrew the charge of theft against him. Charles told the court that the wine was given to him by “someone” and he had not entered the churchyard to steal.
But in sentencing him on Monday, the Chief Magistrate Candia Carette-George said “you are no stranger to the court and you are not learning, you have already spent 11 months in custody.”
“So taking everything into consideration, the sentence of the court is one year in jail,” she said.