Burglar rang bell before entering

A daylight burglary was committed at a West Bay Road home where three adults and several children were present, according to evidence in a recent Summary Court trial.

Magistrate Grace Donalds summarised the evidence on 4 August and found defendant Donnie Ray Connor guilty of the burglary.

The magistrate noted that the incident occurred around 5.30 pm. A Crown witness told the court that she had left her purse on a table in the house.

She heard the doorbell ring. She came from the back of the house to the front, just in time to see the door close.

A six-year-old said she had seen the defendant take a brown bill from the purse.

The woman went to the door and called out. Connor returned and she asked him what he had in his pockets. He showed her some contents, but not all.

He then said he was in a hurry and started to walk away. At this point the witness’ husband returned home from work.

The defendant ran and the husband ran after him, catching him and putting him in a headlock face down in the sand, until police arrived some 15 minutes later.

When the police picked up Connor in order to handcuff him, a crumpled bill fell from his mid-torso region onto the sand. Connor was quoted as saying, ‘Give me a break. Please give me a break.’

Connor initially denied being the person wrestled down by the witness’ husband and denied going into the house.

In response to questions, Connor said he was not found inside the house. Asked about the money, he said nobody ever saw him take it.

The magistrate noted with disfavour that the Crown had not exhibited the brown bill. However, even if it had, there was little likelihood the complainant would have made a prior note of its serial number in order to identify it.

But the court could take judicial notice that Cayman does issue a $25 bill and it is brown.

Other evidence included a shoe print in the house, with a W in the sole mark. Nobody in the house had shoes like that, but Connor did.

In defence, it had been argued that there was more money in the purse than $25 and a thief would have taken it all.

The magistrate noted that the witness had said the $25 was in a separate compartment. There may have been insufficient time to look through everything, the magistrate commented. Or the thief may have been content with $25, or he may have been an incompetent thief who did not examine the entire purse.

But it was not for the court to speculate. In any event, the Crown’s case pointed irresistibly to Connor as the person entering the house and stealing the $25.

This was his 55th conviction.

The magistrate noted that Connor was sentenced in Grand Court in 1999 to three years imprisonment for burglary.

She then imposed a term of three years four months.

Connor entered an oral notice of appeal.